Enhanced piezoelectric performance of aligned PVDF electrospun fiber mats

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Miniaturization of portable devices demand a power source that does not require recharging from the grid or replacement; instead, it requires a self-charging or self-powering mechanism. Energy harvesters are the promising choice for self-powering devices. One of the methods for harvesting energy from environment is with piezoelectric materials which can overcome the disadvantages of batteries. In this study, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric fibers were created from a solution of 18 wt% of PVDF in 1:1 ratio of dimethyl acetamide (DMA) and acetone. Fibers were created through the electrospinning method using an improved collection method with a high electric field between the syringe tip and the lateral surface area of the rotating cylindrical collector. The piezoelectric properties of the developed PVDF fiber mats were tested with an in-house developed pneumatic system that repetitively applies a load to cause a piezoelectric response. The effect of fiber alignment was evaluated through the piezoelectric response using different collector speeds. It was observed that as the speed increased from 0 to 3500 rpm, the piezoelectric response changed from 14 to 41 V peak-to-peak. The nanofiber mat with the highest piezoelectric response was tested for vibration energy harvesting. The charging rate of a 1000 µF capacitor using the nanofiber mat was 66 mV per minute. The produced piezoelectric fiber mats could be used as electrical generators, among other applications, and the energy could be stored in capacitors for subsequent utilization.

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emergent mater.