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Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Position Sensing and Energy Harvesting of a Flexible Triboelectric Touch Pad

by Tao Chen 1,2,3,4,†, Qiongfeng Shi 2,3,4,5,†, Kunpu Li 2,3,4,5, Zhan Yang 1, Huicong Liu 1,*, Lining Sun 1, Jan A. Dziuban 6 and Chengkuo Lee 2,3,4,5,*
1
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Advanced Robotics, School of Mechanical and Electric Engineering & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 3, Singapore 117576, Singapore
3
Center for Intelligent Sensors and MEMS, National University of Singapore, E6 #05-11F, 5 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117608, Singapore
4
Hybrid-Integrated Flexible (Stretchable) Electronic Systems Program, National University of Singapore, E6 #05-4, 5 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117608, Singapore
5
NUS Suzhou Research Institute (NUSRI), Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, China
6
Faculty of Microsystem Electronics and Photonics, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 11/17 Janiszewskiego Str., Wroclaw 50-372, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080613
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Nanomaterials to Intelligent Nanosystems)
Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a promising technology because it can harvest energy from the environment to enable self-sustainable mobile and wearable electronic devices. In this work, we present a flexible touch pad capable of detecting the contact location of an object and generating substantial energy simultaneously based on the coupling of triboelectric effects and electrostatic induction. The touch pad consists of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thin film, multiple Aluminum (Al) electrodes and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layers, which can be achieved through low cost, simplified and scalable fabrication process. Different from the conventional multi-pixel-based positioning sensor (i.e., large array of sensing elements and electrodes), the analogue method proposed here is used to implement the positioning function with only four electrodes. Position location can achieve a detecting resolution of as small as 1.3 mm (the size of locating layer is 7.5 cm × 7.5 cm). For the energy harvesting part, a multilayer structure is designed to provide higher current output. The open circuit voltage of the device is around 420 V and the short circuit current can reach up to 6.26 µA with current density of 0.25 µA/cm2. The maximum output power obtained is approximately 10 mW, which is 0.4 mW/cm2. The flexibility and significantly reduced number of electrodes enable the proposed touch pad to be readily integrated into portable electronic devices, such as intelligent robots, laptops, healthcare devices, and environmental surveys, etc. View Full-Text
Keywords: triboelectric nanogenerator; self-powered; energy harvesting; internet of things (IoT) triboelectric nanogenerator; self-powered; energy harvesting; internet of things (IoT)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, T.; Shi, Q.; Li, K.; Yang, Z.; Liu, H.; Sun, L.; Dziuban, J.A.; Lee, C. Investigation of Position Sensing and Energy Harvesting of a Flexible Triboelectric Touch Pad. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 613.

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