Many people who struggle to get enough sleep could benefit from monitoring their sleep, but they have limited options for doing so. In a new study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a research team describes a potential solution: a self-powering smart pillow that tracks the position of the head. Chinese scientists Ding Li, Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues sought to adapt current sleep monitoring systems that use triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) to create a less restrictive, more comfortable version.
To construct their new smart pillow, the researchers formulated a flexible, porous polymer triboelectric layer. Movement between the head and this layer changes the electric field around nearby electrodes, generating a current. They strung together several self-powering sensors to create a flexible and breathable TENG (FB-TENG) array that can be placed atop an ordinary pillow. Photo: American Chemical Society.