Rice University researchers have recently taken the idea of wearable devices that harvest energy from movement to a new level. Prof. James Tour's lab has adapted laser-induced graphene (LIG) into small, metal-free devices that generate electricity.
Putting the LIG composites in contact with other surfaces produces static electricity that can be used to power devices. This relies on the triboelectric effect, by which materials gather a charge through contact. When they are put together and then pulled apart, surface charges build up that can be channeled toward power generation.