A team of researchers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have found a way to boost energy production using lightweight polymer vibration. This method could eliminate the need for manual recharging of batteries in microsensors and mobile devices.
Working with plastic-based piezoelectric material, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), the researchers were able to stack the polymer in multiple layers resulting in improved output current and reducing the electrical impedance using associated with piezoelectric materials. During their research, the team found that when too many layers are stacked, the cantilever can become too rigid for bending-mode vibrational harvesting. Using a mathematical model, the team was able to calculate how different materials affect energy output and performed further testing based on their analytical results.