Even when cell phones have advanced so much, with one smart phone super ceding another, battery life of phones hasn’t really been any better than the good old Nokia days. People have resorted to using Power banks and Battery cases but it still isn’t going to be enough for the power-hungry users. But what if we tell you that it is now possible to charge your phone by just the casual finger movement.
Yeah you must be thinking that there is wireless charging now but bear in mind that it is not truly wireless. You still have to place your iPhone on the wireless charging pad which themselves require a power outlet. Since we haven’t really seen any drastic change in the charging process (just the type of pins changing), it is still the same as it used to be.
For now, there has been some significant research by the guys at University of Buffalo and the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) on creating a truly wireless system of charging. They have come to the perfect solution, which just requires you to move your fingers around a bit but yeah a special metallic tab too.
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This kind of thing is known as triboelectric charging. It works on a familiar concept which we know many people have unknowingly experienced. If there happens to be friction between two materials one of then gets an electrical charge.
This is the basic principle of Static Electricity. It has happened on so many accounts that we touch a person and then we immediately feel like we have been electrocuted for a bit.
People have tried in the past to employ triboelectric charging to good use, but to no avail. It seems now that finally there has been some success. Previously the most common issue was the difficulty in producing materials required. The costs were yet another major issue. To cover all these issues, metallic tab is the latest solution to all these problems.
Now to how it works, it is not that difficult to understand. In between two thin layers of gold there is polydimethylsiloxane which is a silicon based polymer. You would probably seen this polymer in the form of lens and silly putty. “One layer of gold is stretched and then released, causing it to crumple. Upon applying force again, movement between the layers of gold and the polymer creates friction.” futurism reported.
According to lead author Yun Xu who happens to be a professor of Institute of Semiconductors at CAS “This causes electrons to flow back and forth between the gold layers. The more friction, the greater the amount of power is produced.” The best thing is that you won’t have to move your fingers quickly or in a specific action, but just a slight movement would be sufficient.
The metallic tab used to showcase their research to publish wasn’t that large, so easy to handle. The dimensions were just 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide. A maximum of 124 volts could be produced from this which is enough energy to power 48 red lights simultaneously. Sadly it isn’t enough to charge a phone though completely. But seeing their ongoing commitment it is possible that we might be seeing this as a substitute for phone charging in near time.
Let’s just hope there is significant progress in the charging aspect of phones as well, so that we won’t have to carry out battery packs with us anymore.