Physicists at the University of Michigan have created a light, flexible device with a thickness of the paper, which may be the first step to creating cutting-edge gadgets, for example, foldable loudspeaker or even a talking newspaper. It is reported by Popular mechanics.
“We have created the first ultra-thin, flexible sensor that can convert mechanical energy into current and Vice versa,” – said the project author, associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering Nelson Sepulveda.
At the end of last year the team Sepulveda demonstrated a new technology – nanogenerator FENG, which was designed to charge flexible electronics. The device was created from a silicon wafer, which, in turn, was superimposed multiple sheets of organic material containing silver particles and polypropylene. FENG plays the electric power, the processing of the received mechanical energy such as human motion.
Later, the researchers decided to modify FENG, adding new features. They found that high-tech material can work as a microphone (“capture” vibration of sound, and then convert them into the current) and as a loudspeaker (working the opposite).
To demonstrate how to work the microphone, physicists have developed a security system for a computer that uses voice recognition. The gadget has successfully coped with the test, catching frequency of the human voice.
And to show the capabilities of the loudspeaker, Sepúlveda and his colleagues have built a FENG to the flag of the University of Michigan and had programmed it to “sing” the anthem of the school. Music was broadcast from the iPad through the amp connected to the FENG.
The researchers believe that their development has a great future. “Imagine that one day you will be able to get out of his pocket weightless loudspeaker, stick it on the wall and to transmit the message, says Sepulveda. Or imagine a talking newspaper, the leaves of which represent microphones. You can even engage her in discussion.”