Nanofiber-Based Substrate for a Triboelectric Nanogenerator: High-Performance Flexible Energy Fiber Mats

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Flexible and stretchable triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are the next-generation systems for wearable and portable electronics. In this study, we have demonstrated an all nanofiber-based TENG for energy harvesting and biomechanical sensing applications. The TENG was prepared using the Forcespinning (FS) method to produce poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) nanofiber (NF) membranes. The TPU nanofiber membranes were interfaced with a homogeneously sputtered gold nanofilm. The experimental characterization of the PVDF-TPU/Au NF-TENG revealed that surface interfaced with dispersed gold in a TPU fiber membrane produced a maximum open-circuit voltage of 254 V and a short-circuit current of 86 μA output at a 240 bpm load frequency, which was, respectively, 112 and 87% greater than bare PVDF-TPU NF-based TENG. All systems were composed of an active contact surface area of 3.2 × 2.5 cm2. Furthermore, the TENG was able to light up 75 LEDs (1.5 V of each) by the hand-tapping motion. The resistive load and capacitor test results exemplified a TENG offering a simple and high-performance self-chargeable device. Furthermore, we have tested the TENG’s response for biomechanical movements at different frequencies, suggesting the TENG’s potential to be also used as a cost-effective self-powered flexible body motion sensor.


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ACS applied materials & interfaces