An image of a nanoscale chip engineered by Peter Kinget’s lab. He is attempting to build self-powered sensors that run on tiny bits of ambient solar energy, using so little power that their batteries never need replacing.

Engineer designs self-powered nanoscale devices that never need new batteries

February 7, 2013 by Adam Piore

(Phys.org)—It’s relatively simple to build a device capable of detecting wireless signals if you don’t mind making one that consumes lots of power. It’s not so easy to design energy-efficient devices that function as well as the components they replace, or to do it at the nano scale.

That’s what Peter Kinget, a professor of electrical engineering, works on. He and his colleagues at the Engineering School are attempting to build self-powered systems using nanoscale devices that can transmit and receive wireless signals using so little power that their batteries never need replacing.

Rather, they rely on tiny bits of ambient solar energy to recharge themselves. Such energy efficiencies could dramatically cut down on the cost to operate a variety of these devices at once, while eliminating the need for maintenance. These sensors would only need to be installed once, and could remain in place functioning autonomously—practically until they wear out or disintegrate on their own.

Read more: Engineer designs self-powered nanoscale devices that never need new batteries — phys.org.

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