Piezoelectrics on steroids – researcher creates artificial compound
Posted by evolvingwheel on November 17, 2007
Pradeep Sharma and his research team at University of Houston are in the process of testing an engineered piezoelectric material that could revolutionize the way piezoelectrics produce power. In naturally occurring piezoelectric materials there are several limitations. Even though these compounds are being used in increasing commercial products such as airbags, lighters, etc., there extensive growth in market utilization and efficiency are limited by their brittleness and the requirement of a lot of energy. Sharma’s research encompasses theoretical approach to design fabrication of materials and then practical testing of real compounds created artificially from ground up.
If a fairly good amount of energy can be created from a tangible mechanical pressure, these compounds have the potential to appear in several commercial applications that require power generation to run internal operations of devices. Considering the claim that the artificially engineered materials are steroids, numerous mechanical applications can be associated with the method of generating power by pressure. Prosthetic limbs is one area of application. Another good application could be tying this process of deriving decent electricity from the gas and brake pedals in cars. Or even from steering wheels. Guess how many times we press these objects while driving.
I will try to do some more research on the nanoscale effects that produces these compounds. With my interest in nanotechnology realm, the process of adding or manipulating attributes in materials with the help of nano-optics will be something worth knowing. Read the article [here].
Picture: Pradeep Sharma; Courtesy University of Houston website