National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

A strain on smartphone battery life


Source: National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

An article in The Telegraph about the applications of piezoelectric materials mentions the EMRP Nanostrain project, which is led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and supported by IBM.

As phones grow more powerful, the demand they place on batteries increases. This can inconvenience users, due to the need for more frequent charges, but also places a limit on performance. One possible solution to the problem is to develop new transistor materials that use less power, extending battery life.

When a voltage is applied to a piezoelectric material it causes strains that result in a change in shape. This property can be used to make digital switches that offer increased speeds, reduced size and lower power consumption than those based on traditional transistor materials. However, they cannot be commercialised until they are made smaller, and this requires accurate measurements of strain at the nanoscale.

The EMRP Nanostrain project has been set up to develop these measurements under industrially relevant conditions of high stress and electric fields. It is led by NPL and brings together public institutions from across Europe, supported by global industry leaders including IBM, to drive innovation in next generation electronics devices.

As explained in the Telegraph article, these devices could include: 'ultra-high-speed and resolution printing, chemical and optical sensors, telecommunications, and innovative electronics in the automotive, power, oil and gas, and medical sectors.'

The results from the project will be made openly available to manufacturers and designers to encourage innovation. This work is funded through EURAMET's European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) Project IND54 Nanostrain. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

Read the full article in The Telegraph

Find out more about the EMRP Nanostrain project

Find out more about NPL's research on Functional Materials

For further details, please contact Markys Cain

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