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Energy harvesting from our body and living environment
Zhong Lin (Z.L.) Wang
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta USA
Ever since the wide range applications of laptop computers and cell phones, seeking of power sources for
driving portable electronics is becoming increasingly important. The current technology mainly relies on
rechargeable batteries. But for the near future, micro/nano-systems will be widely used in health monitoring,
infrastructure and environmental monitoring, internet of things and defense technologies; the traditional
batteries may not meet or may not be the choice as power sources for the following reasons. First, with the
increasingly shrinkage in size, the size of the total micro/nano-systems could be largely dominated by the size of
the battery rather than the devices. Second, the number and density of micro/nano-systems to be used for sensor
network could be large, thus, replacing batteries for these mobile devices becoming challenging and even
impractical. Lastly, the power needed to drive a micro/nano-system is rather small, in the range o f micro- to
milli-Watt range. To meet these technological challenges, the author proposed the self-powering nanotechnology
in 2005, aiming at harvesting energy from the environment to power the micro/nano-systems based sensor
network. This talk will introduce the nanogenerator as a sustainable self-sufficient power source for
micro/nano-systems by harvesting energy from our body and living environment.
[1] Z.L. Wang and J.H. Song, Science, 312 (2006) 242-246.
[2] X.D. Wang, J.H. Song J. Liu, and Z.L. Wang, Science, 316 (2007) 102-105.
[3] Z. L. Wang, Advanced Materials, 19 (2007) 889-992.
[4] Y. Qin, X.D. Wang and Z.L. Wang, Nature, 451 (2008) 809-813.
[5] Z.L. Wang, Advanced Functional Materials, 18 (2008) 3553-3567.
[6] R.S. Yang, Y. Qin, L.M. Dai and Z.L. Wang, Nature Nanotechnology, 4 (2009) 34-39.
[7] S. Xu, Y. Qin, C. Xu, Y.G. Wei, R.S. Yang, Z.L. Wang, Nature Nanotechnology, 5 (2010) 366 - 373
[8] Y.F. Hu, Y.L. Chang, P. Fei, R.L. Snyder and Z.L. Wang, ACS Nano, 4 (2010) 1234–1240.
About speaker:
Dr. Zhong Lin (ZL) Wang is the Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering, Regents' Professor,
Engineering Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Nanostructure Characterization, at Georgia Tech. Dr.
Wang is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, member of European Academy of Sciences, fellow
of American Physical Society, fellow of AAAS, fellow of Microscopy Society of America and fellow of Materials
Research Society. He has received the 2001 S.T. Li prize for Outstanding Contribution in Nanoscience and
Nanotechnology, the 1999 Burton Medal from Microscopy Society of America, and the 2009 Purdy award from
American ceramic society. Dr. Wang has made original and innovative contributions to the synthesis, discovery,
characterization and understanding of fundamental physical properties of oxide nanobelts and nanowires, as well as
applications of nanowires in energy sciences, electronics, optoelectronics and biological science. He is a leader
figure in ZnO nanostructure research. His discovery and breakthroughs in developing nanogenerators establish the
principle and technological road map for harvesting mechanical energy from environment and biological systems
for powering a personal electronics. His research on self-powered nanosystems has inspired the worldwide effort in
academia and industry for studying energy for micro-nano-systems, which is now a distinct disciplinary in energy
research and future sensor networks. He coined and pioneered the field of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics by
introducing piezoelectric potential gated charge transport process in fabricating new electronic and optoelectronic
devices. This breakthrough by redesign CMOS transistor has important applications in smart MEMS/NEMS,
nanorobotics, human-electronics interface and sensors. Wang also invented and pioneered the in-situ technique for
measuring the mechanical and electrical properties of a single nanotube/nanowire inside a transmission electron
microscope (TEM). Dr. Wang is the world’s top 5 most cited authors in nanotechnology and materials science. His
entire publications have been cited for over 43,000 times. The H-index of his citations is 100. Details can be found
at: http://www.nanoscience.gatech.edu/zlwang
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