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News Release 07-036

Minuscule Generators Convert Motion Into Nanoscale Electricity Source

Energy from tiny movements, ultrasound waves and even bloodflow can charge the devices

Georgia Tech researcher Zhong Lin Wang holds a prototype nanogenerator.

Georgia Tech researcher Zhong Lin Wang holds a prototype nanogenerator.

April 5, 2007

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In a breakthrough that could free nanomachines from the bulk of batteries, researchers have developed a novel nanogenerator--an array of tiny filaments that converts the smallest motions into electrical current.

The nanowires are crafted from zinc oxide, a safe material that would allow the generator to be used in biomedical applications, and may eventually power nanomotors, tiny sensors, and if in large enough arrays, macroscale devices.

Georgia Institute of Technology engineer Zhong Lin Wang and his colleagues announce the development in the Apr. 6 issue of Science.

The researchers developed the generators with the support of the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology.

Additional information is available in the Georgia Tech press release at

The research was supported by the NSF Metals Program in the Division of Materials Research through award DMR 9733160.


Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, email:
John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology, (404) 894-6986, email:

Program Contacts
Harsh Deep Chopra, NSF, (703) 292-4543, email:

Principal Investigators
Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology, (404) 894-8008, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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