Barring any last minute change of mind, Nigerians may no longer be worried about electricity to charge their devices, as scientists at the University at Buffalo in the US have have developed a small metallic tab that can generate electricity from simple body movements.

The device, when finally release will help to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians and indeed other African countries currently plagued by lack of electricity supply, as searching for a power outlet to charge your devices may soon become a thing of the past.

“No one likes being tethered to a power outlet or lugging around a portable charger. The human body is an abundant source of energy. We thought – why not harness it to produce our own power?” said Qiaoqiang Gan, associate professor at the University at Buffalo told ET Telecom.

Gan said the device is set to be released in the second quarter of this year, with Africa their first target.

Triboelectric charging occurs when certain materials become electrically charged after coming into contact with a different material. Most everyday static electricity is triboelectric.

According to ET telecom, researchers have proposed numerous nanogenerators that utilise the triboelectric effect; however, most are difficult to manufacture (requiring complex lithography) or are not cost effective.

But the triboelectric nanogenerator – that researchers including those from Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) are developing addresses both of those concerns.

It consists of two thin layers of gold, with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) – a silicon-based polymer used in contact lenses – sandwiched in between.

Researchers are also working on developing a portable battery to store energy produced by the tab.


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