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Researchers getting closer to 'everlasting battery'

Imagine a world where the battery on your favorite device doesn't get low anymore. Researchers in Australia may have finally found the key to an everlasting battery.

Electrical energy could one day be generated from touching piezoelectric thin films. Advanced Functional Materials

Smartphones, tablets, and other devices have advanced significantly in power and functionality during the last decade, yet one draining issue remains: battery life.

Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne and Australian National University have made a crucial advancement in the quest to create a perpetual battery.

In a report published in the June 21 issue of Advanced Functional Materials, the group--led by Arnan Mitchell, with assistance from Madhu Bhaskaran, Sharath Sriram and Simon Ruffell--demonstrates how applying mechanical pressure to thin piezoelectric film can generate electricity for a wide range of portable electronics.

According to the report, the combination of piezoelectric nanomaterials and thin-film technology creates a massive opportunity for humans to naturally deliver energy to power-hungry equipment.

Can you imagine not having to worry about needing to recharge?

In a quote to Physorg.com, Bhaskaran describes how integrated piezoelectrics "could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers." The group has also hinted at this combined technology being cooked into a touch screen, which would allow our taps and swipes to produce energy for a battery. I'm sure many of you smartphone addicts would keep your devices' batteries at 100 percent if that were the case.

Bhaskaran believes the key to accelerating this technology into the mainstream lies in thin-film coating (combined with piezoelectric nanomaterials), which solves the existing riddle of making this technology cost-effective for mass production. However, challenges remain. Finding a way to strengthen the energy generated by piezoelectric materials, while keeping cost and size down, is still on the drawing board.