A note from Layne Hartsell of the Seoul Study Group:
“Piezotronics is a field of nanotechnology using various crystals with non-central symmetry alignments called wurtzite crystals, to produce electrical charges or ‘piezoelectric effect.’ Some examples of wurtzite crytals are ZnO, GaN InN and ZnS. In application, new piezo materials can harvest ambient and minute energies such as mechanical, thermal, and light to produce electricity. For example, mechanical stresses in the sole of the shoe, the inner part of car tires, sound etc. can be part of ambient energies which are lost to entropy. The electricity produced is AC/DC thus eliminating the need for a converter.
There is great potential for the manufacturing of various nanomaterials and even nanomanufacturing which will involve the manipulation of single atoms into larger structures. Thus, nanoscience is an interdisciplinary convergence developing the physical basis or hardware for renewable energy systems, future computers, medical technologies, and better materials overall. Currently, nanoscientists are building the set of experimental capabilities or basic science from which future manufacturing capabilities will arise.”
Layne Hartsell’s current research is with Thomas Pogge and John Weckert on global justice and access to advanced technologies; and with Kim Sang Woo at Sungkyunkwan University Advanced Institute for Nanotechnology in renewable energy systems and medical applications.
Hartsell, L., S.W. Kim, J. Weckert, T. Pogge. 2012. Zinc Oxide in Piezotronics Energy Systems: Possible applications. Energy and Environmental Science (not accepted yet)
Hartsell, L., J. Weckert and T. Pogge. 2011. Nanoscience, ethics and progress: The poor and advanced technologies. IEEE Proceedings.