Sepulveda's research in a flexible, foldable, FerroElectret-NanoGenerator (FENG) was recently featured on Big Ten Networks LiveBIG.

 

Nelson Sepulveda, an Associate Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and his team demonstrated a flexible, foldable, FerroElectret-NanoGenerator (FENG), which uses the energy from human motion and converts it to electrical energy that can be used or stored.

The generated power increases by simple folding, which means that the device's output power increases as it becomes smaller. The device uses displacement current, which does not come from moving free charges. Instead, the current is the result of the change in the polarization of the material. "An analogy for this device can be made with a birthday air balloon...as you press the balloon with your hands, you can feel a mechanical response that pushes your hands away. Now imagine that the balloon is made in such a way that the response to your pushing is no longer a mechanical force, but an electric potential. That's essentially how the device works --you press it, and its reaction is an electric potential," Sepulveda said.

The device can also be used as a flexible or foldable microphone or loudspeaker. This work is the result of a very fruitful collaboration with Zhong Lin Wang, a Profession at Georgia Institute of Technology.