New nanoscale motion sensors could be created thanks to studies conducted at McGill University.
A team in the department of chemistry at the academic institution has been investigating the use of cadmium selenide quantum dots, already known to have applications in devices of different types.
They claim that the chemical could allow for advances in piezoelectric technology - such as the creation of power supplies with large output voltages created by a small compression.
In their studies, the scientists have succeeded in controlling the piezoelectric effect - used in devices including motion sensors and watches - at a very small scale.
When compression is applied, the quantum dot expands and rapidly returns to its original size, creating a vibration that can be used in equipment and which the researchers say they can manage with a high degree of control.
Studies were conducted by the Kambhampati research group at McGill University's Montreal campus.