Researchers Developed Energy Generating Fingertip Sensor

Jul, 2021 - By SMI

Researchers Developed Energy Generating Fingertip Sensor

A new experiment was conducted to develop a fingertip sensor device that could absorb sweat and generate electricity even while the user is sleeping or in sedentary position.

A new devices or future wearables were developed by engineers from the University of California (UC), San Diego that were powered by human sweat. The research was conducted since long ago to develop sweat-powered wearable sensors and devices that are more convenient, practical and accessible for everyday users. Recently, the team created a fingertip sensor that could generate electricity even during sleeping or sedentary condition of the user. The device could act as a potential power source at any time and in any place.

The researchers experimented with mixing of various components to construct a device that could both absorb sweat and generate electricity. The thin Band-Aid strip that consists of carbon foam electrodes was considered for the experiment. It was observed that the strip absorbed sweat and triggered chemical reactions between oxygen molecules and lactate using its embedded enzymes. The mechanism then generates electricity and is stored in a small capacitor within it. Further, researchers expanded their research by applying more pressure on fingertips. The pressure was applied by performing certain activities such as texting, typing or playing piano. During the process, it was observed that extra electricity is generated in response to pressure due to a piezoelectric material in the electrode of the device.

Researchers classified fingertips as 24-hour perspiration factories due to its sweat glands that produce 100 to 1000 times more sweat than rest of the body parts. Hence, the device absorbs much sweat and generate good amount of electricity. Researchers aimed to innovate the device for its efficiency and durability. They used their previously developed vitamin C sensor as novel energy harvester to power chemical sensors. They wanted to form new types of self-powered wearable devices by combining it with other energy harvesters.

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