December 1, 2022

Using Ultrasonic Waves To Charge Underwater and Body-Implanted Electronic Devices

Wireless acoustic energy transfer into implantable devices within pork (skin and flesh) as a replacement for the body. Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
Electromagnetic (EM) induction and magnetic resonance can be utilized in wireless energy transfer. EM induction is currently being utilized in mobile phones and wireless earphones; nevertheless, its use is limited because EM waves can not pass through water or metal, leading to short charging distance. In addition, this technique can not be easily utilized to charge implanted medical gadgets as the heat produced during charging is damaging. The magnetic resonance approach requires that the resonant frequencies of the electromagnetic field generator and transferring gadget are precisely the exact same; moreover, a danger of interference with other cordless communication frequencies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, exists.
The KIST group, for that reason, embraced ultrasonic waves as an energy transmission medium, rather of EM waves or magnetic fields. Sonar, which uses ultrasound waves, is typically used in undersea environments, and the safety of using ultrasonic waves in the human body has actually been guaranteed in numerous medical applications, such as organ or fetal condition medical diagnosis. The existing acoustic energy transfer approaches are not advertised easily due to the low transmission efficiency of acoustic energy.
Underwater wireless acoustic energy transfer system that can all at once operate 200 LEDs and a cordless sensing unit in real time. Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
The research group developed a design that receives and transforms ultrasonic waves into electrical energy using the triboelectric principle that permits for the conversion of small mechanical vibrations into electrical energy effectively. By including a ferroelectric material to the triboelectric generator, the ultrasonic energy transfer effectiveness was significantly improved from less than 1% to more than 4%. Charging of more than 8 mW power at a range of 6 cm was possible, which was sufficient to at the same time operate 200 LEDs or to interact Bluetooth sensor information undersea. In addition, the newly established device had high energy conversion performance and generated minimal amounts of heat.
Dr. Song described the significance of the outcomes as follows: “This research study demonstrated that electronic gadgets can be driven by cordless power charging via ultrasonic waves. If the stability and effectiveness of the gadget are further improved in the future, this innovation can be used to provide power wirelessly to implantable sensors or deep-sea sensing units, in which replacing batteries is cumbersome.”.
Recommendation: “Ferroelectrically enhanced contact electrification makes it possible for efficient acoustic energy transfer through liquid and strong media” by Hyun Soo Kim, Sunghoon Hur, Dong-Gyu Lee, Joonchul Shin, Huimin Qiao, Seunguk Mun, Hoontaek Lee, Wonkyu Moon, Yunseok Kim, Jeong Min Baik, Chong-Yun Kang, Jong Hoon Jung and Hyun-Cheol Song, 22 Jan 2022, Energy & & Environmental Science.DOI: 10.1039/ D1EE02623B.
KIST was developed in 1966 as the first government-funded research institute to develop a national development technique based on science and innovation and share numerous industrial technologies to establish major markets. KIST is now raising Korean science and innovation status through world-leading innovative research study and development.
This research was supported the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant and the National Research Council of Science & & Technology (NST) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (Ministrer: Hye-Sook Lim) and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation & & Planning (KETEP) grant moneyed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Minister: Sung Wook Moon). The research study outcomes have been released in the current problem of the “Energy & & Environmental Science” (IF: 38.5, top 0.182% in JCR), a prominent international academic journal in the field of energy.

Schematic illustration of wirelessly charging a body-implanted electronic device utilizing an ultrasonic probe. Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
New innovation improves the efficiency of cordless energy transfer of ultrasonic waves by triboelectric power generation. Ultrasonic waves have applications in wireless charging of batteries undersea or in body-implanted electronic devices.
The number of clients using implanted electronic gadgets, such as artificial pacemakers and defibrillators, is increasing worldwide as the population ages and medical technology advances. As an outcome, a novel wireless energy transfer charging strategy is being developed that can be utilized to charge body-implanted devices without surgical treatment.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President: Seok-Jin Yoon) announced that a research team led by Dr. Hyun-Cheol Song at the Electronic Materials Research Center established an ultrasonic cordless power transmission technology that can be applied in those research study areas.

As an outcome, an unique cordless energy transfer charging strategy is being developed that can be utilized to charge body-implanted gadgets without surgery. Electromagnetic (EM) induction and magnetic resonance can be utilized in cordless energy transfer. The existing acoustic energy transfer approaches are not advertised quickly due to the low transmission efficiency of acoustic energy.
The research group developed a design that receives and converts ultrasonic waves into electrical energy using the triboelectric concept that allows for the conversion of little mechanical vibrations into electrical energy successfully. In addition, the recently established gadget had high energy conversion efficiency and generated limited quantities of heat.

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