Special Issue "Piezoelectric Nanogenerators for Micro-Energy and Self-Powered Sensors"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "A:Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Micky Rakotondrabe
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
National School of Engineering in Tarbes (ENIT), National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INPT), University of Toulouse, 65000 Tarbes, France
Interests: mechatronics and micromechatronics; robotics and microrobotics; smart materials based systems; piezoelecticity and piezoelectric systems; actuators and microactuators; miniaturized sensors; modeling - control - estimation - observers - identification
Prof. Dr. Rusen Yang
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Xidian University, Xi’an, China
Interests: nanogenerator; piezotronics; piezoelectric; sensor; ferroelectric
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Zhong Lin Wang
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0245, USA
Interests: nanogenerators and self-powered nanosystems; piezotronics for smart systems; piezo-phototronics for energy science and optoelectronics; hybrid cells for energy harvesting
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy harvesting consists of scavenging energy from the surrounding environment knowing that this energy would be “lost” if not scavenged. To scavenge small-scale kinetic energy, the use of a piezoelectric nanogenerator (PENG) is one of the most studied and developed approaches. It is based on the exploitation of the direct piezoelectric effect to transform the ambient kinetic energy—mostly vibrational—into electrical energy. Whilst the term PENG was initially introduced when referring to ZnO nanowires being used as materials to scavenge such small-scale energy, the word nowadays refers to piezoelectric energy harvesting more generally, whether standard materials (e.g., PZT, AlN) or novel materials (e.g., nanowires) are employed. Indeed, the driving mechanism of PENG is Maxwell’s displacement current. Potential applications of PENG are numerous as it allows self-powered and autonomous nano-, micro-, mini-, or meso-scaled devices, for example, implantable electronics in biomedical applications, geotracers and animal tracking devices, wearable devices, multifunctional shoes, tires monitoring sensors, autonomous sensors in automotives, building monitoring sensors, and self-powered vibration damping devices in structures. Nowadays, we are witnessing a variety of attractive approaches in the emerging research and development for increasingly more efficient PENGs with more diversified applications. This Special Issue aims to present a collection of articles, including review papers, that cover the recent research and development on PENG techniques as well as their applications. Collectively, the papers in this issue will address fundamental, technological, and application aspects.

Prof. Micky Rakotondrabe
Prof. Rusen Yang
Prof. Zhong Lin Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • vibrational PENG
  • hybrid PENG
  • new piezoelectric materials for PENG
  • structure optimization in PENG
  • electrical circuits in PENG
  • multidirectional PENG
  • multifrequency PENG
  • broadband PENG
  • modeling in PENG
  • applications of PENG

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Analytical Modeling and Validation of a Preloaded Piezoceramic Current Output
Micromachines 2021, 12(4), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12040353 - 25 Mar 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
Energy harvesting using piezoceramic has drawn a lot of attention in recent years. Its potential usage in microelectromechanical systems is starting to become a reality thanks to the development of an integrated circuit. An accurate equivalent circuit of piezoceramic is important in energy [...] Read more.
Energy harvesting using piezoceramic has drawn a lot of attention in recent years. Its potential usage in microelectromechanical systems is starting to become a reality thanks to the development of an integrated circuit. An accurate equivalent circuit of piezoceramic is important in energy harvesting and the sensing system. A piezoceramic is always considered to be a current source according to empirical testing, instead of the derivation from its piezoelectric characteristics, which lacks accuracy under complicated mechanical excitation situations. In this study, a new current output model is developed to accurately estimate its value under various kinds of stimulation. Considering the frequency, amplitude and preload variation imposed on a piezoceramic, the multivariate model parameters are obtained in relation to piezo coefficients. Using this model, the current output could be easily calculated without experimental testing in order to quickly estimate the output power in energy harvesting whatever its geometric shape and the various excitations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fundamental Definitions for Axially-Strained Piezo-Semiconductive Nanostructures
Micromachines 2021, 12(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12010020 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 429
Abstract
Piezoelectric nanotransducers may offer key advantages in comparison with conventional piezoelectrics, including more choices for types of mechanical input, positions of the contacts, dimensionalities and shapes. However, since most piezoelectric nanostructures are also semiconductive, modeling becomes significantly more intricate and, therefore, the effects [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric nanotransducers may offer key advantages in comparison with conventional piezoelectrics, including more choices for types of mechanical input, positions of the contacts, dimensionalities and shapes. However, since most piezoelectric nanostructures are also semiconductive, modeling becomes significantly more intricate and, therefore, the effects of free charges have been considered only in a few studies. Moreover, the available reports are complicated by the absence of proper nomenclature and figures of merit. Besides, some of the previous analyses are incomplete. For instance, the local piezopotential and free charges within axially strained conical piezo-semiconductive nanowires have only been systematically investigated for very low doping (1016 cm−3) and under compression. Here we give the definitions for the enhancement, depletion, base and tip piezopotentials, their characteristic lengths and both the tip-to-base and the depletion-to-enhancement piezopotential-ratios. As an example, we use these definitions for analyzing the local piezopotential and free charges in n-type ZnO truncated conical nanostructures with different doping levels (intrinsic, 1016 cm−3, 1017 cm−3) for both axial compression and traction. The definitions and concepts presented here may offer insight for designing high performance piezosemiconductive nanotransducers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fluorinated Polyethylene Propylene Ferroelectrets with an Air-Filled Concentric Tunnel Structure: Preparation, Characterization, and Application in Energy Harvesting
Micromachines 2020, 11(12), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11121072 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Fluorinated polyethylene propylene (FEP) bipolar ferroelectret films with a specifically designed concentric tunnel structure were prepared by means of rigid-template based thermoplastic molding and contact polarization. The properties of the fabricated films, including the piezoelectric response, mechanical property, and thermal stability, were characterized, [...] Read more.
Fluorinated polyethylene propylene (FEP) bipolar ferroelectret films with a specifically designed concentric tunnel structure were prepared by means of rigid-template based thermoplastic molding and contact polarization. The properties of the fabricated films, including the piezoelectric response, mechanical property, and thermal stability, were characterized, and two kinds of energy harvesters based on such ferroelectret films, working in 33- and 31-modes respectively, were investigated. The results show that the FEP films exhibit significant longitudinal and radial piezoelectric activities, as well as superior thermal stability. A quasi-static piezoelectric d33 coefficient of up to 5300 pC/N was achieved for the FEP films, and a radial piezoelectric sensitivity of 40,000 pC/N was obtained in a circular film sample with a diameter of 30 mm. Such films were thermally stable at 120 °C after a reduction of 35%. Two types of vibrational energy harvesters working in 33-mode and 31-mode were subsequently designed. The results show that a power output of up to 1 mW was achieved in an energy harvester working in 33-mode at a resonance frequency of 210 Hz, referring to a seismic mass of 33.4 g and an acceleration of 1 g (g is the gravity of the earth). For a device working in 31-mode, a power output of 15 μW was obtained at a relatively low resonance frequency of 26 Hz and a light seismic mass of 1.9 g. Therefore, such concentric tunnel FEP ferroelectric films provide flexible options for designing vibrational energy harvesters working either in 33-mode or 31-mode to adapt to application environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Non-Uniform Deformation on Piezoelectric Circular Diaphragm Energy Harvester with a Ring-Shaped Ceramic Disk
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110963 - 28 Oct 2020
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Piezoelectric energy harvesting technology using the piezoelectric circular diaphragm (PCD) has drawn much attention because it has great application potential in replacing chemical batteries to power microelectronic devices. In this article, we have found a non-uniform strain distribution inside the PCD energy harvester. [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric energy harvesting technology using the piezoelectric circular diaphragm (PCD) has drawn much attention because it has great application potential in replacing chemical batteries to power microelectronic devices. In this article, we have found a non-uniform strain distribution inside the PCD energy harvester. From the edge to the center of the ceramic disk, its output voltage first increases and then decreases. This uneven output voltage reduces the output power of the PCD energy harvester. Based on this phenomenon, we reduce the ceramic disk diameter and dig a hole in the center, analyzing the effect of removing the ceramic disk’s low output voltage part on the PCD energy harvester. The experimental results show that removing the ceramic disk’s low output voltage part can improve the output power, reduce the resonance frequency, and increase the optimal impedance of the PCD energy harvester. Under the conditions of 10 g proof mass, 9.8 m/s2 acceleration, the PCD energy harvester with a 19-mm diameter and a 6-mm hole can reach a maximum output power of 8.34 mW. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of a Piezoelectric Energy Harvester Based on Flag-Flutter
Micromachines 2020, 11(10), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11100933 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 808
Abstract
In the last few decades, piezoelectric (PZT) materials have played a vital role in the aerospace industry because of their energy harvesting capability. PZT energy harvesters (PEH) absorb the energy from an operational environment and can transform it into useful energy to drive [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, piezoelectric (PZT) materials have played a vital role in the aerospace industry because of their energy harvesting capability. PZT energy harvesters (PEH) absorb the energy from an operational environment and can transform it into useful energy to drive nano/micro-electronic components. In this research work, a PEH based on the flag-flutter mechanism is presented. This mechanism is based on fluid-structure interaction (FSI). The flag is subjected to the axial airflow in the subsonic wind tunnel. The performance evaluation of the harvester and aeroelastic analysis is investigated numerically and experimentally. A novel solution is presented to extract energy from Limit Cycle Oscillations (LCOs) phenomenon by means of PZT transduction. The PZT patch absorbs the flow-induced structural vibrations and transforms it into electrical energy. Furthermore, the optimal resistance and length of the flag is predicted to maximize the energy harvesting. Different configurations of flag i.e., with Aluminium (Al) patch and PZT patch for flutter mode vibration mode are studied numerically and experimentally. The bifurcation diagram is constructed for the experimental campaign for the flutter instability of a cantilevered flag in subsonic wind-tunnel. Moreover, the flutter boundary conditions are analysed for reduced critical velocity and frequency. The designed PZT energy harvester via flag-flutter mechanism is suitable for energy harvesting in aerospace engineering applications to drive wireless sensors. The maximum output power that can be generated from the designed harvester is 6.72 mW and the optimal resistance is predicted to be 0.33 MΩ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electromechanical Modeling of Vibration-Based Piezoelectric Nanogenerator with Multilayered Cross-Section for Low-Power Consumption Devices
Micromachines 2020, 11(9), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11090860 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
Piezoelectric nanogenerators can convert energy from ambient vibrations into electrical energy. In the future, these nanogenerators could substitute conventional electrochemical batteries to supply electrical energy to consumer electronics. The optimal design of nanogenerators is fundamental in order to achieve their best electromechanical behavior. [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric nanogenerators can convert energy from ambient vibrations into electrical energy. In the future, these nanogenerators could substitute conventional electrochemical batteries to supply electrical energy to consumer electronics. The optimal design of nanogenerators is fundamental in order to achieve their best electromechanical behavior. We present the analytical electromechanical modeling of a vibration-based piezoelectric nanogenerator composed of a double-clamped beam with five multilayered cross-sections. This nanogenerator design has a central seismic mass (910 μm thickness) and substrate (125 μm thickness) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as well as a zinc oxide film (100 nm thickness) at the bottom of each end. The zinc oxide (ZnO) films have two aluminum electrodes (100 nm thickness) through which the generated electrical energy is extracted. The analytical electromechanical modeling is based on the Rayleigh method, Euler–Bernoulli beam theory and Macaulay method. In addition, finite element method (FEM) models are developed to estimate the electromechanical behavior of the nanogenerator. These FEM models consider air damping at atmospheric pressure and optimum load resistance. The analytical modeling results agree well with respect to those of FEM models. For applications under accelerations in y-direction of 2.50 m/s2 and an optimal load resistance of 32,458 Ω, the maximum output power and output power density of the nanogenerator at resonance (119.9 Hz) are 50.44 μW and 82.36 W/m3, respectively. This nanogenerator could be used to convert the ambient mechanical vibrations into electrical energy and supply low-power consumption devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analytical Modelling and Optimization of a Piezoelectric Cantilever Energy Harvester with In-Span Attachment
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060591 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
In this paper, the location of masses and of a piezoelectric patch for energy harvesting reported onto a vibrating cantilever beam is studied and optimized. To this aim, a genetic algorithm is adapted and utilized to optimize the voltage amplitude generated by the [...] Read more.
In this paper, the location of masses and of a piezoelectric patch for energy harvesting reported onto a vibrating cantilever beam is studied and optimized. To this aim, a genetic algorithm is adapted and utilized to optimize the voltage amplitude generated by the piezoelectric patches by choosing attachment mass, attachment mass moment of inertia, attachment location, piezoelectric patch location and force location on the beam as parameters. While an analytical approach is proposed to evaluate the voltage amplitude, a multi-layer perceptron neural network is trained by the derived characteristic matrix to obtain an approximate function for natural frequencies based on the attachment parameters. The trained network is then used in the core of genetic algorithm to find the best optimization variables for any excitation frequency. Numerical simulation by COMSOL Multiphysics finite element software validates the calculated voltage by analytical approach. The optimization method successfully matches the natural frequency of the beam with the excitation frequency which therefore maximizes the output energy. On the other hand, the superiority of the optimized design over the conventional configuration in harvesting the energy at high frequency excitation is also approved. Full article
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