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A New Progress in Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Biomechanical Energy Harvesting

JUNE 15,2021   

Recently, a research paper entitled “Dielectric Modulated Glass Fiber Fabric-Based Single Electrode Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Efficiently Biomechanical Energy Harvesting"  was published online in the international journal Advanced Functional Materials. This work proposed a novel single electrode triboelectric nanogenerator (SE-TENG) that utilizes glass fiber fabric (GFF) as tribo-materials, along with an inorganic ferroelectric film for the dielectric layer. The GFF is first shown to be a promising tribo-material for its highly positive tribo-polarity and unique chemical/mechanical/durable properties. Meanwhile, an inorganic dielectric film with high dielectric constant is introduced between the GFF and Al electrode for enhancing the charge trapping capability, thus boosting the outputs of devices.

Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), emerging as an alternative energy technology to harvest biomechanical energy, ocean wave energy, wind energy, even droplets energy into electricity, possesses great potential to act as portable power sources and power next-generation miniature electronics with low power consumption. Different from the traditional paired-electrode structured TENGs, single-electrode TENG is versatile in harvesting energy, easy to fabricate and integrate because it takes the ground as the reference electrode. Whereas, the relatively low output performance is the bottleneck in the single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerators (SE-TENGs) for its application as sustainable power sources.

The authors firstly utilized the GFF as tribo-materials, and qualitatively verified its triboelectric series, which will provide a new material choice for assembling flexible, wearable electronics. The dielectric properties are enhanced obviously by constructing a high dielectric PZT film (εr = 59.78) rather than the particle-embedded approach, which is demonstrated by both simulation and experimental results. The PZT/GFF-based SE-TENG can generate outputs of 1640 V, 59.05 mA m2 with a transferred charge density of 102.9 µC m2 by hand tapping with a small force (≈10 N) and low frequency (≈4 Hz). The device can light up 1350 LEDs by hand tapping, charge a 47 µF capacitor into 10 V in 421 s, and power up the digital watch without additional control circuits due to its high output performance and instantaneous power density. This work provides a new positive tribo-material with a feasible approach to boost the output performance and may induce great effect on biomechanical energy harvesters and sustainable, portable power source for next-generation smart electronics.

This research was guided by Professor Yiping Guo, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Zhipeng Zheng, a 2019-level direct PhD student, is the first author of this article. This research was funded by the Key Basic Research Project of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (No.20JC1415000), the Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (52032012) and the Science and Technology Innovation Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202102431

Author: Zhipeng Zheng

Contributor: School of Materials Science and Engineering

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