Wi-Fi signals turned into electricity by MIT scientists

Wifi card held by a woman

Have you ever wondered about not needing to charge your electronic devices? The answer most probably might be no but scientists at MIT have thought about it. They have thought about it and they have executed it on a smaller level. It is ingenious to really think about such a thing and then execute it. The way these scientists and researchers have thought and executed is easy to understand and not really easy to execute.

The MIT scientists have invented a device that could turn Wi-Fi signal into electricity. Yes, they have already invented the small device and that is known as ‘rectennas’. The rectennas are the devices which will convert Wi-Fi signals into electricity. This happens mainly with the use of a semiconductor and is pretty simple, the conversion of the signal that is. The device is also a two-dimensional device which is very thin and malleable. This means that you can wrap it around anything and anyhow.

The rectennas basically use radio frequency antennas to catch the electromagnetic waves or the Wi-Fi signal. The Wi-Fi signal is in the form of the AC wave. After getting caught by the antennas this signal is passed onto the semiconductor which is highly flexible. The antennas are connected to the semiconductor. This AC Wi-Fi signal is then converted into a DC voltage using this semiconductor. This converted DC voltage can then be used to power devices such as power electronic circuits or can also be used to recharge the batteries. The conversion, however, cannot go through without a rectifier.

Now the major problem was that rectifiers are thick and mostly three dimensional. The MIT researchers then came up with molybdenum disulfide which is the thinnest semiconductor in the world. This overshadowed the problem faced because of the rectifier. This kind of a device makes the process faster and covers a lot of frequency.

This is groundbreaking in many ways as it can make our devices battery-free and charge free. The batteries won’t be a problem anymore and this can totally be one of the major inventions. One can use this for any kind of charging once the technology is developed.

The experiments carried out have been fantastic and the results are overwhelming for a tech that is supposed to be in its early stages. The device invented can produce energy up to 40 microwatts given that the standard Wi-Fi signal enters the device which is around 150 microwatts. This kind of energy developed can easily power your phone’s display.

The researchers will get the necessary clearances and then they can charge bigger devices and who knows one day we will have devices without a battery.

-Unmesh Phule


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