Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. M Jasim Uddin

Second Advisor

Dr. Javier Macossay-Torres

Third Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano


Flexible Piezoelectric devices have garnered a lot of attention for their potential as energy harvesters and transducers. Zinc Oxide particularly has been doped with different metals and has been incorporated in functional polymers in order to produce flexible piezoelectric devices. In this work, a Neodymium doped Zinc Oxide based flexible piezoelectric energy harvester and sensory device has been developed. For that, neodymium doped zinc oxide has been synthesized using wet chemical co-precipitation method and then has been incorporated in Polyvinylidene Difluoride (PVDF) polymer matrix along with Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) to produce flexible piezoelectric films. Silver paste was applied on both sides of the piezoelectric film to produce a compact and flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting device. The piezoelectric outputs of the device were tested at variable tapping frequency ranging from 60 BPM to 240 BPM and pressure (10 to 40 psi). The device was also tested with conventional electronics like bridge rectifiers, capacitors, resistors, LEDs to show its potential as an energy harvester. Compared to other modified ZnO-PVDF based unpoled piezoelectric energy harvesters, this device has shown the most open-circuit output voltage. The device produced the highest piezoelectric open-circuit voltage of 75.8 V. It has also shown an optimum power density of 12.55 μw/cm2 at 1MΩ load impedance. Energy harvesting capacity was further tested by placing the device between the shoe soles during running and jogging. The device also demonstrated uniform signals when it was attached to a part of the body and a specific motion was repeated. This study endorses the potential of Nd-ZnO/PVDF/MWCNT based piezoelectric energy harvester as the most efficient Piezoelectric Nanogenerator (PENG) which shows superior power generation along with self-powered sensory applications.


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