Energy Harvesting Composite Made of Piezoelectric Ceramic/Shape Memory Alloy (SMA)

Introduction Shape memory alloy (SMA) materials are easily deformed at low temperature and return to their original configuration by heating. Via the piezoelectric effect, some materials will produce an electric potential as a result of stress from changes in temperature. The alternating current (AC) potential produced may then be converted into direct current (DC) and stored in a capacitor. Thus, an energy harvesting system is possible. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a composite material made from piezoelectric ceramic and SMA that acts as an energy harvester when subjected to thermal gradients. The material consists of a piezoelectric layer and an SMA layer; alternately heating and cooling the composite induces stress and therefore an electrical signal. The electrical signal is then harvested for further use. Business opportunity Energy harvesting devices have attracted much attention in both military and commercial sectors. There are numerous applications in low power devices (LPD)
including wireless, sensor and control systems, micro-electromechanical systems
(MEMS) and radio frequency identification. Stage of development Concept Intellectual property position The technology is available for licensing. The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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