Canadian scientists have developed a method of generating electricity from water for use in small devices, which could pave the way for products such as liquid-powered calculators and mobile phones.

The technology is based on the interaction between liquids and solids on a very small scale. The surface of the solid receives a small charge that attracts opposite-charged ions in the liquid and repels like-charged ions. The process creates an electric double layer (EDL)--a thin liquid layer with a net charge that ranges from a thickness of several nanometers to a few micrometers.

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