A film that acts like a sponge is the key to picking up subtle movements that could power your device.

 

Ever wish there was something constructive that could come out of dropping or jostling your phone? Then you’re in for a treat. The newest advance in piezoelectric generators, which polarize crystals in a battery as a result of mechanical stress, has been developed by a group of researchers at University of Wisconsin, Sun Yat-sen University in China and the University of Minnesota Duluth, and it’s tiny enough to be embedded inside a cell phone or cell phone case. The results were published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. According to a press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it’s all about inserting interconnected pores of the correct size to get normally rigid materials to be as sensitive to vibrations as a sponge:

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