Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Watch VIDEO: Virus-based Piezoelectricity Energy Generated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Electricity/power is an essential ingredient of our routine life. We need power to run the smallest of our gadgets. There are many conventional ways to produce electricity, along with new eco-friendly methods to harvest electricity like solar power, wind power etc.

Virus-based Piezoelectricity Energy Generated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The latest development in this field comes from the researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy. Reportedly, scientists in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a unique way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity.

Converting mechanical energy to electricity is not a new concept, but Californian scientists do have a new approach: using viruses to harvest energy from everyday vibrations like walking.

Researchers have created a tiny generator by coating stamp-sized electrodes with piezoelectric viruses, M13 bacteriophages. Piezoelectricity is the buildup of an electric charge in certain materials due to mechanical stimulation.

This demo video below illustrates a potentially new way to fabricate micro-electronic devices that could be powered by activities such as climbing stairs or shutting a door.

The first part of the video shows how Berkeley Lab scientists harness the piezoelectric properties of the virus to convert the force of a finger tap into electricity. The second part reveals the "viral-electric" generators in action, first by pressing only one of the generators, then by pressing two at the same time, which produces more current.

The work could lead to a better way of making piezoelectric devices and even expand its range of applications.  

Currently, the piezoelectric effect is used in a variety of applications, such as the automotive industry and medical imaging, including devices like air-bag sensors, key-less door entry systems, and MRI and CT scanners.

However, the toxicities and challenges posed by conventional piezoelectric device fabrication have limited their scope.

The advantage of M13 viruses is that they are rod-shaped and self-assemble into organized layers upon which the electrodes depend. The virus also replicates quickly, so supply would not be a concern.

Watch the demo video below:

Report Tags: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, M13 bacteriophages, piezoelectricity, piezoelectric viruses, Video, Science, Technology, Youtube, M13 Virus                                                               

1 comment:

Peter Lachki said...

The discoveries scientists are constantly making never cease to amaze me. I never even knew about piezoelectricity, never mind the advances with viruses!

Really fascinating to know it's in keyless door entry systems.


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