Charge Your Phone By Talking To It

Believe it or not! Your cell phones would be charged simply by traffic noise, music, chants from a football ground and even your own voice.

Scientists from queen mary university of london and nokia have created an energy-harvesting prototype ( nanogenerator) that could be used to charge a cell phone using everyday background noise, such as traffic, music, and our own voices.

The researchers used the key properties of zinc oxide, a material that when squashed or stretched creates a voltage by converting energy from motion into electrical energy, in the form of nanorods. The nanorods can be coated onto various surfaces in different locations making the energy harvesting quite versatile. When the surface is squashed or stretched, the nanorods then generate a high voltage.

The nanorods respond to vibration and movement created by everyday sound, such as our voices. Electrical contacts on both sides of the rods are then used to harvest the voltage to charge a phone.

The team first developed a process whereby they could spray on the nanorod chemicals — almost like nanorod graffiti — to cover a plastic sheet in a layer of zinc oxide.

When put into a mixture of chemicals and heated to just 90-degree c, the nanorods grew all over the surface of the sheet. Gold is traditionally used as an electrical contact but the team was able to produce a method of using cheap and cheerful aluminum foil instead. The ultimate device generates five volts, which is enough to charge a phone.

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