Electricity from the Silk Cocoon Membrane

Brindan Tulachan*, Sunil Kumar Meena, Ratan Kumar Rai, Chandrakant Mallick, Tejas Sanjeev Kusurkar, Arun Kumar Teotia, Niroj Kumar Sethy, Kalpana Bhargava, Shantanu Bhattacharya, Ashok Kumar, Raj Kishore Sharma, Neeraj Sinha, Sushil Kumar Singh, Mainak Das*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraeamylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5434
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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