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Researchers From MIT Develop Paper-Thin Speakers

These paper-thin speakers will give minimum distortion of sound and, at the same time, consume a lot less power than a traditional speaker. 

Researchers From MIT Develop Paper-Thin Speakers

A research team from MIT’s Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Lab (ONE LAB) has succeeded in developing a unique paper-thin speaker system that can enable active noise cancellation for an entire room! These speakers are in sheet form, as thin as paper, and only weigh in at a dime. However, they are able to dish out the high-quality video when they are attached to a surface like a wall. 

The new speakers are thin films that can be secured onto a surface and effectively turn it into a source for audio. These paper-thin speakers will give minimum distortion of sound and, at the same time, consume a lot less power than a traditional speaker. 

In order to develop this truly unique product, engineers from MIT adopted a new approach to the loudspeaker concept. Different from a traditional loudspeaker, these paper-thin loudspeakers use shaped piezoelectric materials that move when the voltage gets applied through them. They, in turn, move the overlying layers of air to generate audio. 

On top of this, this paper-thin speaker system is specifically made to enable it to be freestanding. The reason for this is that the film can bend freely in order to produce sounds. As a result, you cannot mount the speaker on a surface because that would prevent the speaker from vibrating, degrading the ability to reproduce sounds accurately. 

To work around this issue, the design was rethought. Instead of vibrating the entire material, the new design relies on tiny domes, of which each can vibrate individually, and they are placed on top of the piezoelectric sheet. The domes are protected from wear and tear as well as abrasion with spacer layers placed on both sides of the sheet. 

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