Stretchable nanogenerators that directly generate electricity are promising for a wide range of applications in wearable electronics. However, the stretchability of the devices has been a long-standing challenge. Here we present a newly-designed ultra-stretchable nanogenerator based on fractal-inspired piezoelectric nanofibers and liquid metal electrodes that can withstand strain as large as 200%. The large-scale fractal poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) micro/nanofibers are fabricated by combination of helix electrohydrodynamic printing (HE-Printing) and buckling-driven self-assembly. HE-Printing exploits “whipping/buckling” instability of electrospinning to deposit serpentine fibers with diverse geometries in a programmable, accurately positioned, and individually-controlled manner. Self-organized buckling utilizes the driven force from the prestrained elastomer to assemble serpentine fibers into ultra-stretchable fractal inspired architecture. The nanogenerator with embedded fractal PVDF fibers and liquid-metal microelectrodes demonstrates high stretchability (>200%) and electricity (currents >200 nA), it can harvest energy from all directions by arbitrary mechanical motion, and the rectified output has been applied to charge the commercial capacitor and drive LEDs, which enables wearable electronics applications in sensing and energy harvesting.
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