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Liang Guo's post-doc work leads to high-tech polymer

Assistant Professor Liang GuoAssistant Professor Liang Guo’s postdoctorate work on a water-vapor powered generator is being featured as one of the “Best of 2013” articles by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Guo, who came to The Ohio State University in 2013, was co-author and initiator of the project while a postdoctoral associate at MIT’s world-renowned Langer Lab. The research has resulted in development of a new polymer film that generates electricity by drawing on water vapor in the air. The polymer can charge batteries on devices by harvesting energy directly from the environment.

The new material changes its shape after absorbing tiny amounts of evaporated water, allowing it to repeatedly curl up and down. Harnessing this continuous motion could drive robotic limbs or generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices, such as environmental sensors.

A story about this development appears in the Jan. 11 issue of Science magazine. It also has received media coverage by the Boston Globe and NBC News. The paper's first author, Mingming Ma, is a 2010 alumnus of The Ohio State University Department of Chemistry.