Seed Power: Mustard seeds used to generate lighting in LEDs

A research team led by Prof. Satish Ogale used mustard seeds to generate lighting in LEDs. Sachin Kumar Singh, the lead author of the paper describes the whole process of generating electricity.

Spluttering of mustard seeds while tempering in hot oil is a common sight in Indian kitchens, but what if the same phenomenon of these seeds could produce electricity, enough to glow small LED bulbs? 

Yes, It is possible. When you shake mustard seeds contains plastic container then you will find that mustard seeds will start dancing.

The reason behind this is simple electrostatic charges because of friction between plastic and mustard seed’s surface. There is also a triboelectric Nanogenerator (TENG)which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. These devices work on the triboelectric effect. According to triboelectric effect, when two opposite surfaces rubbed to each other then there will a charge transfer or ion transfer between two dielectric surfaces so which material has more tendency to lose electron or charge will come in positive in triboelectric series and material which has a tendency to gain electron will come in negative in triboelectric series.

So accordingly we analyzed mustard surface and found that it has more molecules which makes a positive charge on it so we choose triboelectric negative material Poly divinyl fluoride (PVDF) as the second layer.

For applying a constant force, we used homemade force set up by modifying the sewing machine.

We used ITO and aluminium as the top and bottom electrode to measure potential differences between two surfaces and measure voltage and current by Keithley 2450 and 7510 units.


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