A triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is one of the most significantly innovative microdevices for built-in energy harvesting with wearable and portable electronics. In this study, the forcespinning technology was used to synthesize a nanofiber (NF) mat-based TENG. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane was used as the negative triboelectric electrode/pole, and chemically designed and functionalized thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was used as the positive electrode/pole for the TENG. The electronic interference, sensitivity, and gate voltage of the synthesized microdevices were investigated using chemically modified bridging of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) with a TPU polymer repeating unit and bare TPU-based positive electrodes. The chemical functionality of TPU NF was integrated during the NF preparation step. The morphological features and the chemical structure of the nanofibers were characterized using a field emission scanning electron microscope and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The electrical output of the fabricated MWCNT-TPU/PVDF TENG yielded a maximum of 212 V in open circuit and 70 µA in short circuit at 240 beats per minute, which proved to be 79% and 15% higher than the TPU/PDVF triboelectric nanogenerator with an electronic contact area of 3.8 × 3.8 cm2, which indicates that MWCNT enhanced the electron transportation facility, which results in significantly enhanced performance of the TENG. This device was further tested for its charging capacity and sensory performance by taking data from different body parts, e.g., the chest, arms, feet, hands, etc. These results show an impending prospect and versatility of the chemically functionalized materials for next-generation applications in sensing and everyday energy harvesting technology.
Salas JI, de Leon D, Abir SSH, Uddin MJ, Lozano K. Functionalized Thermoplastic Polyurethane Nanofibers: An Innovative Triboelectric Energy Generator. Electronic Materials. 2023; 4(4):158-167. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat4040014
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