Flexible electronics are emerging as a promising new platform for wearable and implantable body sensor networks (BSNs). However, the practical utility of BSNs is compromised by the limited battery life of the electronic devices. The objective of this research is to harness the biomechanical energy of the human body by developing a membranous and tunable energy harvesting strategy that retains flexibility and stretchability to be integrated with bioelectronics. Successful completion of the research will bridge the gap between flexible electronics and sustainable energy, and result in the maximization of the use and performance of BSNs. The proposed work will provide fundamental understanding and systematic studies that can solve the power issues that arise when developing sustainable and flexible electronics. An integration of education and outreach plan will (1) promote the development of science and technology for multidisciplinary research at the interface of energy materials and flexible electronics; (2) provide opportunities to strengthen K-12 programs in STEM; and (3) broaden the research participation of underrepresented groups.
To take full advantage of biomechanical energy sources in the human body and overcome current obstacles to creating flexible electronic systems, the proposed research will: (1) leverage advanced polymeric-based energy materials to enhance energy harvesting performance; (2) develop solid-state tuning strategies to achieve the maximum power output; and (3) implement a self-sustainable system for powering electronic devices. These achievements will enable a long-term goal of translating the membranous energy harvesting technology in BSNs to revolutionize power solutions for flexible electronic systems. The research findings will advance knowledge of engineering fundamentals in applications of materials and energy science that will lead to innovations and improvements in BSN applications.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/21 → 8/31/24|
- National Science Foundation: $385,300.00