Is it possible to efficiently harvest ambient vibrational energy in order to power new conception electronic micro and nanodevices?

According to a research just published in Physical Review Letters (Nonlinear Energy Harvesting, F. Cottone; H. Vocca; L. Gammaitoni, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 080601 (2009)) a new technique based on the exploitation of nonlinear oscillators opens up a new scenario in energy harvesting.

Ambient energy harvesting has been in recent years the recurring object of a number of research efforts aimed at providing an autonomous solution to the powering of small-scale electronic mobile devices. Among the different solutions, vibration energy harvesting has played a major role due to the almost universal presence of mechanical vibrations.
In a recent research conducted at the Noise in Physical Systems (N.i.P.S) Laboratory at the Physics Department of the University of Perugia (Italy) L. Gammaitoni and his co-workers developed a new method based on the exploitation of the dynamical features of stochastic nonlinear oscillators. They have shown that such a method can outperform standard linear oscillators and overcomes some of the most severe limitations of existing approaches.

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Nonlinear Energy Harvesting