We live in a world immersed in multiple forms of energy, an energy that we use in a minimal amount. We are surrounded by light, a light that allows us to see objects but whose energy is lost in multiple reflections and refractions around us. We continually touch objects in our environment, press the keys of the computer or mobile phone, press switches, walk, run and carry out a multitude of activities that require mechanical energy, and we always use more energy than is necessary to achieve the goal we seek. We live in artificially conditioned environments that almost always have different temperatures than those that exist outside, we cause vibrations when our vehicles pass by, we flood the world with sounds, etc. And in the midst of so much wasted energy, mobile phones, computers and devices of all kinds need batteries, batteries or connection to the electrical network to function.
What would happen if those devices were able to collect residual energy from the environment by themselves? In this case, we could dream of devices that feed themselves, whose energy life would be much longer and less harmful to the environment. Our guest today on Talking to Scientists, Ana Isabel Borras Martosa researcher at the Institute of Materials Science in Seville, has recently received a “Starting Grant” from the European Research Council (ERC) to develop systems capable of capturing residual energy from the environment and applicable to the enormous multitude of electronic devices that flood modern society.
Ana Isabel Borras Martos Belongs to Surface and Plasma Nanotechnology Group, dedicated to modifying the surface of materials that abound in a multitude of devices or devices of daily use, such as the different components that exist inside the mobile, the lenses of glasses, sensors, etc. The group manufactures functional materials that are added to different types of surfaces used in these devices to provide them with special properties and functions.
Research is based on the use of plasma, that is, a gas made up of ionized particles, known as the fourth state of matter, to obtain a final material from certain precursor molecules that can later be deposited on any surface. . To deposit these nanometric layers, methods that require high temperatures, manufacturing processes that require high energy consumption and greatly condition the type of material on which it is deposited, are traditionally used. For example, it would not be possible to deposit them on plastic or flexible materials because they would deteriorate at such high temperatures. The use of a cold plasma to obtain the precursor molecules with which the nanolayers of material can be formed allows the process to be carried out at room temperature, avoiding the problems of excess energy and the limitations of more traditional systems.
I invite you to listen to Ana Isabel Borras Martosresearcher of Surface and Plasma Nanotechnology Group in it Institute of Materials Science of Sevillea center that depends on the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations and of the Sevilla University.
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