A new hybrid energy-harvesting device may one day replace the need for batteries in certain low-power electronics devices. The new device collects ambient wasted energy from both mechanical vibrations and magnetic fields to generate sustainable electricity, which could potentially provide enough power to run wireless sensors, cardio pacemakers, and other applications.

The researchers, led by Fulei Chu at Tsinghua University in Beijing, have published a paper on the new hybrid energy harvesting device in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Over the past several years, energy harvesting has become an increasingly attractive option for replacing the batteries that are used in low-power devices. Whereas batteries have a limited lifetime and must be replaced or recharged on a regular basis, energy-harvesting devices can ideally operate autonomously for much longer periods of time.

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