Innovation Spotlight: Batteryless Nanoenergy Harvesting

December 16, 2012 04:54 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

TechConnect Innovation Tracking: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a TechConnect Accelerator participant-Santa Clara, CA, 2012

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has discovered that by using nanowires embedded in environmentally responsive polymer (a matrix), electrical energy can simultaneously be harnessed from all types of available external stimuli-mechanical, chemical, or temperature differences. Harnessing from multiple sources allows batteryless or no-power electronic components to be designed.

Ms. Ida Shum, Business Development Executive at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, tells TechConnect that,“solar and wireless sensor applications currently dominate the nearly $1B energy harvesting market. It is expected that the demand for energy harvesters beyond these applications will expand the market greatly over the next decade.”

The best currently available nanogenerators can capture, convert, store, and use the energy inherent in piezoelectrics (mechanical/vibration energy), thermoelectrics (heat energy), and photovoltaics (solar and other light energy). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s technology of matrix-assisted energy conversion is the next step in simultaneously harnessing environmental energy from multiple types of stimuli—light, heat, pressure, chemical, and mechanical—all in one device.

Ms. Shum, who presented Batteryless Nanoenergy Harvesting at TechConnect World 2012, noted she made strong connections through the 1-1 meetings as a direct result of her involvement with TechConnect.  Currently in the prototype phase of development, LLNL is seeking both funding and development partners.

For more information about the technology, please visit


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