Hi-tech wooden flooring can turn footsteps into electricity | Renewable energy
Scientists have developed technology that can turn footsteps into electricity.
By tapping into an unexpected energy source, wooden flooring, researchers from Switzerland have developed an energy-harvesting device that uses wood with a combination of a silicone coating and embedded nanocrystals to produce enough energy to power LED lightbulbs and small electronics.
This device, called a nanogenerator, is based on sandwiching two pieces of wood between electrodes.
The wood pieces become electrically charged owing to contact and separation when stepped on via a phenomenon called the triboelectric effect. This effect occurs when electrons can transfer from one object to another, akin to the static electricity produced when you rub a balloon on your hair for a few seconds.
If a material is tribo-positive it tends to lose electrons, and if it is tribo-negative it tends to attract electrons,…