Polymer that could charge phones with car vibrations
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A new material that harnesses the vibrations from a surface, such as inside a moving vehicle, could allow drivers to charge their phones simply by placing them inside the car.
The material is made of a piezoelectric polymer called ployvinylidene fluoride (PVFD). By depositing nanoparticles of zinc oxide onto a thin film of the polymer and the etching them off, it is possible to create pores in the polymer that gave it a sponge-like consistency. It is this spongy consistency that allows the material to harness energy from even small vibrations, such as those of a moving car.
The material could eventually be incorporated directly into housing of electronic devices, allowing them to harvest energy from the slightest vibrations.