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Polymers 2018, 10(7), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070745

Breathable and Flexible Piezoelectric ZnO@PVDF Fibrous Nanogenerator for Wearable Applications

1
Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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Abstract

A novel breathable piezoelectric membrane has been developed by growing zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods on the surface of electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) nanofibers using a low-temperature hydrothermal method. Significant improvement in the piezoelectric response of the PVDF membrane was achieved without compromising breathability and flexibility. PVDF is one of the most frequently used piezoelectric polymers due to its high durability and reasonable piezoelectric coefficient values. However, further enhancement of its piezoelectric response is highly desirable for sensor and energy-harvester applications. Previous studies have demonstrated that piezoelectric ceramic and polymer composites can have remarkable piezoelectric properties and flexibility. However, devices made of such composites lack breathability and some present health risks in wearable applications for containing heavy metals. Unlike other piezoelectric ceramics, ZnO is non-toxic material and has been widely used in many applications including cosmetics. The fabrication of ZnO@PVDF porous electrospun membrane involves a simple low-temperature ZnO growth in aqueous solution, which does not weaken the polarization of PVDF created during electrospinning in the high electric field. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanogenerator; piezoelectric; wearable; PVDF; fiber; electrospin; ZnO; nano; hydrothermal growth; breathable nanogenerator; piezoelectric; wearable; PVDF; fiber; electrospin; ZnO; nano; hydrothermal growth; breathable
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Kim, M.; Wu, Y.S.; Kan, E.C.; Fan, J. Breathable and Flexible Piezoelectric ZnO@PVDF Fibrous Nanogenerator for Wearable Applications. Polymers 2018, 10, 745.

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