Fractal Mechanics of Stretchable Piezoelectrics for Mechanical Energy Harvesting

Project: Research project


Personal-scale sources of renewable power will play critical roles in the sustainable growth of personal/wearable electronic devices and implantable biomedical components, both of which are quickly emerging as key support technologies for the rapid, global expansion of an aging population. When implemented in ultrathin, ultralightweight, stretchable forms, these renewable power sources will eliminate or reduce (1) waste streams associated with battery disposal/recycling in personal/wearable systems and (2) surgical procedures required for battery replacement in implantable electronics. This project will establish the fractal design of stretchable piezoelectrics for mechanical energy harvesting, and the fundamental scientific and engineering knowledge for such personal-scale, renewable/inexhaustible power resources, with a focus on their use in promoting sustainability and well-being. The specific systems involve high performance, stretchable mechanical energy harvesters, capable of mounting on nearly any surface (e.g., glass, paper, biological tissues, textiles, automotives, building structures) in nearly any configuration (e.g., flat, curved, dynamically deformed) and at nearly any scale (e.g. micro to macro). A successful effort will yield technologies and new paradigms of mechanics design that can help to address the rapid environmental, social and cultural implications of the development, expansion and shifting demographics of the human population, due to their core relevance to essential personal and implantable electronic devices. The same technologies create new energy producing opportunities in other contexts as well, due to their ability to mount and install in locations and in ways that are unaddressed with existing systems.
Effective start/end date5/15/144/30/19


  • National Science Foundation (CMMI-1400169)


Energy harvesting
Knowledge engineering
Waste disposal
Sustainable development
Electronic equipment
Aging of materials