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Scientists to bring piezoelectrics and rubber together to form flexible, wearable energy harvester

Laura June
03.02.10
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Piezoelectrics are nothing new -- though most applications, they've proven to be far more theoretically useful than practical. Still, the technology is starting to move in a direction that could prove more applicable to everyday situations -- and a new piezo material recently developed could really get the ball moving. Called PZT, it's made of nano-sized fibers of lead zirconate titanate, which are applied to thin (and we mean thin) ribbons of flexible silicone rubber. The material is super efficient, and has the ability to convert mechanical energy into electricity at a rate of about 80 percent, and, because it's made of flexible rubber, it would be well-suited to converting electricity from the energy of body movements, meaning all sorts of wearable fun may be imminent. There's no word on any practical application of this yet -- so we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for you.

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