The name may not be a household word yet, but it may soon become one. Piezoelectric Rubber is a new technology for embedding piezoelectric tech onto rubberized material which could soon be used to power mobile phones and pacemakers.
These stretchable rubber sheets embedded with ceramic nano ribbons could be used to make shoes which would generate electricity while we walk or jog, and so charge our cell phones or pedometers. Or by placing this material on our chests we could use the vibration from our breathing to power a pacemaker.
The material has been developed by Princeton University and could provide cable-free energy devices with an ever widening variety of practical uses. Move over wind and solar! There’s a new guy in town.
The development of a method for integrating highly efficient energy conversion materials onto stretchable, biocompatible rubbers could yield breakthroughs in implantable or wearable energy harvesting systems. Being electromechanically coupled, piezoelectric crystals represent a particularly interesting subset of smart materials that function as sensors/actuators, bioMEMS devices, and energy converters.