Solar, wind, biofuels, tidal power -- all green, all sustainable. But they are not the final word in power.
In fact, your very words could create power, according to new research out of Texas A&M University.
Professor Tahir Cagin has developed a new way of harvesting electricity from sound waves using nano-scale materials known as piezoelectrics. When made at an extremely tiny scale -- just 21 nanometers thick -- the piezoelectric materials convert sound into electricity at 100% greater efficiency than the same materials at a larger size.
If Professor Cagin's research pans out, piezoelectrics could be put to use in cell phones, MP3 players, laptops and other devices to harvest the energy from the world around them, eliminating the need for replacing or recharging batteries.
The research appears in a recent issue of the journal Physical Review B.