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10/02/2017 HYU News > Academics > 이달의연구자

Title

[Researcher of the Month] Producing Energy Through a Single Thread

Professor Kim Seon-jeong (Department of Biomedical Engineering)

온정윤

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http://www.hanyang.ac.kr/surl/yWJO

Contents

'Lack of energy’ is an issue the whole world is focusing on. Various countries are searching for effective renewable energy and new materials that could replace the current energy sources. Professor Kim Seon-jeong (Department of Biomedical Engineering) discovered a new material every researcher was looking for. Kim's paper, “Harvesting electrical energy from carbon nanotube yarn twist” introduces the world’s first new material, which can produce energy through slight movements.
 

Kim explains the concept of his new material



Professor Kim’s research team started its first project in 2006 on artificial muscle. However, after his research, Kim realized its limitations as they were only able to move through an external energy source. Therefore, he thought of a new idea that the muscle would be more effective when it is able to produce energy by itself. Carbon nanotube is a new material which is a type of conductor and has a diameter of only a few nanometers. This material was made as a thread in the artificial muscle. However, when these threads were finely twisted into one direction, they were able to produce energy by itself through its contraction and relaxation without an applied voltage. Being made into a spring, their length can be changed as much as 30 percent on average. This new material, named as ‘twistron harvester yarn’, allowed a chance for the muscle to move by itself without a separate power source.

This twistron harvester yarn looks and acts as if it were an ordinary thread. This states that making clothes out of this material is possible. Once this comes into realization, this would give a boost in making wearable devices, as producing electricity without an energy source is possible. Moreover, this thread is possible to use inside water, giving another possibility of an effective alternative energy. This has already been tested in the East Sea of Korea. Kim’s research team made a model consisting of a glass bottle connected with an electrode, the thread, a balloon, and an equipment that could measure electricity. As the twistron harvester yarn contracted and relaxed, electrical energy was verified from the ocean.
 


 

Kim showed great passion in the research he was conducting. This research on the twistron harvester yarn was his fourth research. He has been working on artificial muscles for the past nine years before he started this research. “I didn’t start this research solely to find the twistron harvester yarn. I felt the limitations within the research I conducted earlier and was seeking for development,” reminisced Kim. He explained that he wasn’t the only person who conducted the research. Eight teams from three different countries worked on this new material for two years to deduct a better result. “We had a meeting through Skype every week, along with frequent visits to each team. Everyone had great passion and interest towards this research, and I believe that shows the firmness of this research,” said Kim.

"Reach towards your own interest!"

Kim also emphasized the attitudes Hanyangians should have towards their life. Even though he mainly teaches graduate school students, he wished all students could find what they truly wish to do. “Find something unique of your own. Find something you enjoy, and then you will be able to continue on with whatever you are doing. There are countless routes for all students. I wish students would keep challenging themselves to make the greatest results of their own,” wished Kim. Just as his words, Kim will continue with his work with great passion, for even better convenience for global citizens.


On Jung-yun            jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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