Symposium SB01: Fundamentals and Applications of Engineered Living Materials
2023 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit - Graduate Student Awards

Symposium EL08: Nanogenerators and Piezotronics

Yuljae Cho, University of Michigan–Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute 

Hybrid Smart Fiber with Spontaneous Self-Charging for Wearable Electronic Applications 

Written by Richard Wu

Wearable electronics, which have become increasingly widespread in recent years, have many potential applications for biomedical devices. However, an important limitation of many wearable electronic devices is the need for an external energy supply, which may not always be available or practical in biomedical applications.

Yuljae Cho, from the University of Michigan–Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, has been working to address this need by designing and experimenting on hybrid smart fiber materials which are capable of self-charging. When subjected to mechanical forces such as tugging or pulling, these smart fiber materials can convert the movement into electricity and power a small light. The smart fibers are also quite durable and can endure repeated mechanical stresses, such as from bending, knotting, and even washing.

While this work is still ongoing, the hybrid smart fibers have a lot of potential applications. Thanks to their self-charging properties and durability, these smart fibers may soon be powering the next generation of biomedical devices and other wearable electronics. 

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