Thu, Jul 05, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Taiwanese team makes breakthrough in nano energy field

Staff writer, with CNA

A new type of nanotechnology developed by a research team at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) enables electricity to be produced by storing energy created by motion, the university said yesterday.

The research project was based on the dissertation of doctoral student Chen Chih-yen (陳智彥) and supervised by Chou Li-jen (周立人), a professor in the university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Chen’s research represents a major breakthrough in nano electricity, because it enables tiny generators to collect and store kinetic energy in batteries that can power light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the university said.

The nanogenerator concept was first proposed by a leading nanowire technology research team led by Wang Zhonglin (王中林), a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Materials Science and Engineering in the US, NTHU said.

During an academic exchange at Georgia Tech last year, Chen made a nanogenerator out of gallium nitride nanowires and linked it to an LED, the Taiwanese university said.

Nano electricity is unaffected by gravity and can create a self-sustaining electrical system by obtaining energy from the natural environment, Chen said, adding that he hoped to apply the concept to the generation of electricity from the movement of clothing worn every day and to work on other projects to help solve the world’s energy crisis.

Last month, Chen’s research paper made the cover of the international scientific journal ACS Nano and was published on its Web site on May 18.

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