A step closer to developing All-In-One piezoelectric energy harvester

Did you know that microphones, pressure sensors, fuel injectors, ultrasonic generators, micro robots, etc all can use piezoelectric transducers which convert the electrical potential to the mechanical deformation, and vice versa.

Mechanical to electrical energy harvesting devices, based on piezoelectric materials, have been receiving much attention in recent decades. The major problems in developing these devices are the surface current leaking and the energy consumption of power management circuits.

Dr Lijie Li from the College of Engineering, Swansea University has been researching this important area and his study, which reports a new technology that makes a significant step forward in solving the problems, has been published in Scientific Reports.

Dr Li proposed a new structure which simply integrates a layer of quantum dots (QDs) and a layer of piezoelectric material. The QD layer is able to function as an integrated filter or rectifier as well as significantly reducing the power loss on the surface of the material.

This new method is much more efficient than previous approaches of using external circuits or segmenting electrodes since it does not need additional circuits consisting of active electronic components like transistors, diodes.

The suggested technology provides a solution by which we are one step closer to developing ‘All-in -One’ piezoelectric energy device.

Multiphysical analysis has been conducted to validate the idea which has been published in Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 44859 (2017)

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep44859

To find out more about Dr Li’s research go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/engineering/l.li/

Energy harvester research graphic smaller 

Piezoelectric transducers are a type of electroacoustic transducer that converts the electrical charges produced by some forms of solid materials into energy. The word "piezoelectric" literally means electricity caused by pressure.