Electricity from cardboard, a pencil and Teflon tape

January 27, 2016 | 18:27
Electricity from cardboard, a pencil and Teflon tape
Electricity from cardboard, a pencil and Teflon tape
Using simple everyday materials, you can build a generator that can supply enough power for a small electronic device. This discovery comes from Xiao-Sheng Zhang and a research team at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Tokyo.   Using three common materials – light cardboard, a pencil and Teflon tape – the researchers built a device with an area of 8 cm² that can generate more than 3 V and supply enough current to power a simple LCD. The generator operates entirely with static charge, utilizing the electron displacement effect which occurs when two insulating materials, such as cardboard and Teflon, touch each other. The generator devised by the researchers consists of two small cards with one side coated with graphite from a pencil. Each pf these graphite layers serves as an electrode. Teflon tape is applied to the other side of one of the cards, and then the cards are stacked like a sandwich with...

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