Eindhoven University of Technology scientists along with the researchers at Eindhoven-based COBRA research institute have accomplished the generation of electron transport using an electronic ‘ratchet’.
Thus usable powers have been produced at ambient temperatures for the first time using such a device. This research has resulted in the production of a novel wireless drive for use in microelectronic circuits.
An article illustrating this research will be published in Nature Materials, January 2011 issue. The research is led by dr.ir. Martijn Kemerink of the Applied Physics department, along with ir. Erik Roeling, PhD student. The article describes that in principle undirected electrical forces results in a net motion of electrons in a uni-direction, thus creating a direct current by an alternating voltage.
Thus usable voltages have been produced at room temperatures. Till recently, very less temperatures have used, and only a portion of the current produced by Roeling and Kemerink has been generated. Improved organic field-effect transistors were used for this research, where electrodes are placed irregularly below the transistor’s channel. With the fluctuating voltage, the electrons generate small current in one direction, similar to a ratchet or pawl wheel. This electronic drift is analogous to the shaky marbles on a washboard, which shows movement in single direction.
The scientists provided this result in a logic circuit and in their experimentation setup the ratchet supplies required energy to activate the circuit. The scientists state that this research helps in activating wireless microelectronic systems, using low energy and can be used in implanted ICs, identification tags, or sensing devices. Further research work has to be carried out to confirm the potentiality of such applications.