Speakers, microphones and sensors already use piezoelectric materials to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, and visa versa, for a wide variety of applications. Look for piezoelectric effects to be increasingly utilized at the nanoscale for ultra-small sensors and actuators over the next five years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog
Migration of charges to the surface of the quantum dot produces a piezoelectric force.
Here is what EETimes says about nanoscale piezoelectric materials: Piezoelectric effects translate mechanical motion into electricity and vice versa, energizing a variety of electronic transducer applications as well as promising to cut power consumption in MEMS devices. Now McGill University researchers are harnessing the piezoelectric effect in quantum dots, aiming for nanoscale sensors and power supplies that translate vibration into a usable signal.
Full Text: http://bit.ly/NextGenLog-a0vc