Stretchable surfaces from Cornell are made of extensible silicone with an inextensible mesh that can instantly transform from a flat sheet into a 3D shape.


  • Efficient
  • Reduced energy use
  • Quiet


  • Commercial and residential energy generation

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

  • Goal 13: Climate Action

The Challenge

A majority of wind energy in the US uses induction such as the 3-blade turbines seen on- and off-shore. Although these are a reliable source of renewable energy, they can be noisy and perceived as unattractive.

Innovation Details

The electricity generator has synthetic leaves with small strips of specialized plastic inside. When the leaves sway in the wind, the small strips release an electrical charge. Although the leaves are small, together they generate a sizeable amount of energy. Additionally, these generators look like natural trees with leaves fluttering in the wind.

Biomimicry Story

When the wind blows on trees, their leaves flutter, dissipating the wind’s energy. Some types of tree leaves oscillate in a regular pattern, while others oscillate more sporadically. Leaves also help trees gain energy using to convert light into sugars.