BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A U.S.-led international research team says it created energy-scavenging nanofibers that can convert mechanical movement into electricity.
The researchers, led by University of California-Berkeley Professor Liwei Lin, said the nanofibers have piezoelectric properties and might someday be woven into clothing and textiles.
"This technology could eventually lead to wearable 'smart clothes' that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements," said Lin, noting the nanofibers are made from organic polyvinylidene fluoride, making them flexible and relatively easy and cheap to manufacture.
"And because the nanofibers are so small, we could weave them right into clothes with no perceptible change in comfort for the user," Lin added.
The research that included Yiin-Kuen Fuh of UC-Berkeley, Van Tran of Germany's Technical University of Munich and Junbo Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing appears in the journal Nano Letters.