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Clothes that power electronic devices

Materials Science & Technology Division
Zinc oxide nanowires have been grown on textiles, which when worn as clothing turn any motion into electrical power. Such technology could be used by soldiers on the move, in medical monitoring systems or in clothing for those of us who like our wearable technology.

Self-cleaning comes to clothing

Materials Science & Technology Division
Titanium oxide has been used on surfaces such as glass for a number of years to use sunlight to degrade particles and give a self cleaning effect. The same technology has now been applied to wool by Australian and Chinese researchers, meaning that hanging up clothes on a sunny day may be enough to clean dirty garments.

Power from a shower

Materials Science & Technology Division
The piezoelectric property of polyvinylidene difluoride plastics has been used by researchers at Grenoble to harvest energy. Although a small contribution to energy requirements, the pressure of rain hitting a surface can generate electricity which could provide some of the power in our homes.
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Materials Congress 2008 plenary speakers announced

Plenary speakers have been confirmed for Materials Congress.

Bend your knees to charge up your phone

Materials Science & Technology Division
Research into back pack or shoe technologies to harvest energy has developed products that don't quite hit the mark. A knee gadget is now light enough to be worn, but generates sufficient useful power to charge a mobile phone.