Researchers develop ultra-stretchy energy harvester

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Over the past decade, researchers have developed many types of portable and flexible electronics, such as roll-up displays and electronic skins. However, providing an equally flexible and thin power source for these devices has proven more difficult. One potential source of energy is self-powering nanotechnology, aimed at harvesting energy from the environment to create a sustainable self-sufficient power source. Similar energy harvesters have already been used to turn flags into loudspeakers and to generate energy from the human body to power medical devices. Now, researchers, led by Dr Zhon Lin Wang at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems and the Georgia Institute of Technology, have succeeded in making a soft, skin-like material capable of converting mechanical or biomechanical motion into electrical energy.

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