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Piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) are promising for harvesting renewable and abundant mechanical energy with high efficiency. Up to now, published research studies have mainly focused on increasing the sensitivity and output of PENGs. The technical challenges in relation to practicability, comfort, and antibacterial performance, which are critically important for wearable applications, have not been well addressed. To overcome the limitations, we developed an all-nanofiber PENG (ANF-PENG) with a sandwich structure, in which the middle poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (P(VDF-HFP))/ZnO electrospun nanofibers serve as the piezoelectric layer, and the above and below electrostatic direct-writing P(VDF-HFP)/ZnO nanofiber membranes with a 110 nm Ag layer on one side that was plated by vacuum coating technique serve as the electrode layer. As the ANF-PENG only has 91 μm thick and does not need further encapsulating, it has a high air permeability of 24.97 mm/s. ZnO nanoparticles in ANF-PENG not only improve the piezoelectric output, but also have antibacterial function (over 98%). The multi-functional ANF-PENG demonstrates good sensitivity to human motion and can harvest mechanical energy, indicating great potential applications in flexible self-powered electronic wearables and body health monitoring.


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An ultra-thin piezoelectric nanogenerator with breathable, superhydrophobic, and antibacterial properties for human motion monitoring

Show Author's information Wei Fan1,§( )Cong Zhang1,§Yang Liu1Shujuan Wang3Kai Dong4Yi Li5Fan Wu1Junhao Liang1Chunlan Wang1Yingying Zhang2( )
School of Textile Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Material and Product of the Ministry of Education, Xi’an Polytechnic University, Xi’an 710048, China
Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
School of Chemistry, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
Department of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

§ Wei Fan and Cong Zhang contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) are promising for harvesting renewable and abundant mechanical energy with high efficiency. Up to now, published research studies have mainly focused on increasing the sensitivity and output of PENGs. The technical challenges in relation to practicability, comfort, and antibacterial performance, which are critically important for wearable applications, have not been well addressed. To overcome the limitations, we developed an all-nanofiber PENG (ANF-PENG) with a sandwich structure, in which the middle poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (P(VDF-HFP))/ZnO electrospun nanofibers serve as the piezoelectric layer, and the above and below electrostatic direct-writing P(VDF-HFP)/ZnO nanofiber membranes with a 110 nm Ag layer on one side that was plated by vacuum coating technique serve as the electrode layer. As the ANF-PENG only has 91 μm thick and does not need further encapsulating, it has a high air permeability of 24.97 mm/s. ZnO nanoparticles in ANF-PENG not only improve the piezoelectric output, but also have antibacterial function (over 98%). The multi-functional ANF-PENG demonstrates good sensitivity to human motion and can harvest mechanical energy, indicating great potential applications in flexible self-powered electronic wearables and body health monitoring.

Keywords:

piezoelectric nanogenerator, breathability, super-hydrophobicity, antibacterial performance, wearable electronics
Received: 30 October 2022 Revised: 30 November 2022 Accepted: 14 December 2022 Published: 12 January 2023
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Received: 30 October 2022
Revised: 30 November 2022
Accepted: 14 December 2022
Published: 12 January 2023

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© Tsinghua University Press 2023

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52073224), Textile Vision Basic Research Program of China (No. J202110), Advanced manufacturing technology project of Xi’an Science and Technology Bureau, China (21XJZZ0019), Scientific Research Project of Shaanxi Provincial Education Department, China (No. 22JC035), Key Research and Development Program of Xianyang Science and Technology Bureau, China (No. 2021ZDYF-GY-0035), and Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Xi’an Polytechnic University (BS202006).

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