Recent Advances in Nanogenerators

A special issue of Nanoenergy Advances (ISSN 2673-706X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 60953

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Guest Editor
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101400, China
Interests: ferroelectric nanomaterials and devices; hybridizd and coupled nanogenerators; self-powered sensors; other energy-scavenging devices
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Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0245, USA
Interests: piezoelectric/triboelectric nanogenerators; triboelectric mechanisms and piezoelectric (photo)electronics; other applied fundamentals; functional devices; integrated systems research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Converting nano-energies in our surroundings is essential to meet the challenges that we are facing in the Internet-of-things era. As a result, various types of nanogenerators have been developed to scavenge energies that are produced in the surrounding environment. Nanogenerators are based on using the Wang term ∂Ps/∂t as the driving force for converting mechanical energy into electricity regardless of whether nanomaterials are utilized or not. In 2006, piezoelectric nanogenerators were first reported, where zinc oxide nanowires were utilized to convert the mechanical energy from an atomic force microscope tip into electricity. In 2012, nanogenerators were further expanded to triboelectric nanogenerators, where PET and Kapton films were applied to construct the nanogenerator for converting mechanical energy from a linear motor. Since then, nanogenerators have been blossoming and the number of publications about nanogenerators has been increasing exponentially. Moreover, hybridized and coupled nanogenerators have been extensively reported; they can enhance the energy conversion efficiency and exhibit some special advantages over individual nanogenerators. For example, the hybridized electromagnetic–triboelectric nanogenerator can obtain more electric energy from one mechanical motion than an individual electromagnetic generator or triboelectric nanogenerator. Coupled nanogenerators exhibit one material, some electrodes, but different energy-scavenging functions and have a smaller size and higher performance than integrated nanogenerators. Pyroelectric and thermoelectric nanogenerators can be utilized to harvest thermal energy. The pyroelectric nanogenerator is based on the change in temperature with time, whereas the thermoelectric nanogenerator is based on the change in temperature across the device. Hence, this Special Issue of Nanoenergy Advances will report research and review articles to promote the development of nanogenerators.

Prof. Dr. Ya Yang
Prof. Dr. Zhong Lin Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Triboelectric nanogenerators
  • Piezoelectric nanogenerators
  • Hybridized nanogenerators
  • Coupled nanogenerators
  • Pyroelectric nanogenerators
  • Thermoelectric nanogenerators

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3426 KiB  
Article
Ultrathin Stretchable All-Fiber Electronic Skin for Highly Sensitive Self-Powered Human Motion Monitoring
by Yapeng Shi, Tianyi Ding, Zhihao Yuan, Ruonan Li, Baocheng Wang and Zhiyi Wu
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(1), 52-63; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2010003 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3539 | Correction
Abstract
Advances in the technology of wearable electronic devices have necessitated much research to meet their requirements, such as stretchability, sustainability, and maintenance-free functioning. In this study, we developed an ultrathin all-fiber triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG)-based electronic skin (TE-skin) with high stretchability, using electrospinning and [...] Read more.
Advances in the technology of wearable electronic devices have necessitated much research to meet their requirements, such as stretchability, sustainability, and maintenance-free functioning. In this study, we developed an ultrathin all-fiber triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG)-based electronic skin (TE-skin) with high stretchability, using electrospinning and spraying, whereby the silver nanowire (Ag NW) electrode layer is deposited between two electrospinning thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fibrous layers. Due to its extraordinary stretchability and prominent Ag NW conductive networks, the TE-skin exhibits a high sensitivity of 0.1539 kPa−1 in terms of pressure, superior mechanical property with a low-resistance electrode of 257.3 Ω at a strain of 150%, great deformation recovery ability, and exceptional working stability with no obvious fluctuation in electrical output before and after stretching. Based on the outstanding performances of the TE-skin, an intelligent electronic glove was fabricated to detect multifarious hand gestures. Moreover, the TE-skin has the potential to record human motion for real-time physiological signal monitoring, which provides promising applications in the fields of flexible robots, human-machine interaction, and multidimensional sports monitoring in next-generation electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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10 pages, 2322 KiB  
Article
A Near-Zero Power Triboelectric Wake-Up System for Autonomous Beaufort Scale of Wind Force Monitoring
by Tong Tong, Guoxu Liu, Yuan Lin, Shaohang Xu and Chi Zhang
Nanoenergy Adv. 2021, 1(2), 121-130; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv1020006 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3359
Abstract
Beaufort scale of wind force monitoring is the basic content of meteorological monitoring, which is an important means to ensure the safety of production and life by timely warning of natural disasters. As there is a limited battery life for sensors, determining how [...] Read more.
Beaufort scale of wind force monitoring is the basic content of meteorological monitoring, which is an important means to ensure the safety of production and life by timely warning of natural disasters. As there is a limited battery life for sensors, determining how to reduce power consumption and extend system life is still an urgent problem. In this work, a near-zero power triboelectric wake-up system for autonomous Beaufort scale of wind force monitoring is proposed, in which a rotary TENG is used to convert wind energy into a stored electric energy capacitor. When the capacitor voltage accumulates to the threshold voltage of a transistor, it turns on as an electronic switch and the system wakes up. In active mode, the Beaufort scale of wind force can be judged according to the electric energy and the signal is sent out wirelessly. In standby mode, when there is no wind, the power consumption of the system is only 14 nW. When the wind scale reaches or exceeds light air, the system can switch to active mode within one second and accurately judge the Beaufort scale of wind force within 10 s. This work provided a triboelectric sensor-based wake-up system with ultralow static power consumption, which has great prospects for unattended environmental monitoring, hurricane warning, and big data acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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Review

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12 pages, 2161 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Lubricant-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Enhancing Mechanical Lifespan and Electrical Output
by Seh-Hoon Chung, Jihoon Chung and Sangmin Lee
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(2), 210-221; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2020009 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3441
Abstract
A triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a noteworthy mechanical energy harvester that can convert mechanical energy into electricity by combining triboelectrification and electrostatic induction. However, owing to the nature of its working mechanism, TENGs have critical limitations in mechanical and electrical aspects, which prevent [...] Read more.
A triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a noteworthy mechanical energy harvester that can convert mechanical energy into electricity by combining triboelectrification and electrostatic induction. However, owing to the nature of its working mechanism, TENGs have critical limitations in mechanical and electrical aspects, which prevent them from being utilized as primary power sources. To overcome these limitations, several studies are turning their attention to utilizing lubricants, which is a traditional method recently applied to TENGs. In this review, we introduce recent advances in lubricant-based TENGs that can effectively enhance their electrical output and mechanical lifespan. In addition, this review provides an overview of lubricant-based TENGs. We hope that, through this review, researchers who are trying to overcome mechanical and electrical limitations to expand the applications of TENGs in industries will be introduced to the use of lubricant materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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32 pages, 8180 KiB  
Review
Smart Textile Triboelectric Nanogenerators: Prospective Strategies for Improving Electricity Output Performance
by Kai Dong, Xiao Peng, Renwei Cheng and Zhong Lin Wang
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(1), 133-164; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2010006 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 57 | Viewed by 7485
Abstract
By seamlessly integrating the wearing comfortability of textiles with the biomechanical energy harvesting function of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), an emerging and advanced intelligent textile, i.e., smart textile TENG, is developed with remarkable abilities of autonomous power supply and self-powered sensing, which has [...] Read more.
By seamlessly integrating the wearing comfortability of textiles with the biomechanical energy harvesting function of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), an emerging and advanced intelligent textile, i.e., smart textile TENG, is developed with remarkable abilities of autonomous power supply and self-powered sensing, which has great development prospects in the next-generation human-oriented wearable electronics. However, due to inadequate interface contact, insufficient electrification of materials, unavoidable air breakdown effect, output capacitance feature, and special textile structure, there are still several bottlenecks in the road towards the practical application of textile TENGs, including low output, high impedance, low integration, poor working durability, and so on. In this review, on the basis of mastering the existing theory of electricity generation mechanism of TENGs, some prospective strategies for improving the mechanical-to-electrical conversion performance of textile TENGs are systematically summarized and comprehensively discussed, including surface/interface physical treatments, atomic-scale chemical modification, structural optimization design, work environmental control, and integrated energy management. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach in output enhancement are further compared at the end of this review. It is hoped that this review can not only provide useful guidance for the research of textile TENGs to select optimization methods but also accelerate their large-scale practical process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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23 pages, 5273 KiB  
Review
Electromechanical Nanogenerators for Cell Modulation
by Zhirong Liu, Zhuo Wang and Linlin Li
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(1), 110-132; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2010005 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
Bioelectricity is an indispensable part of organisms and plays a vital role in cell modulation and tissue/organ development. The development of convenient and bio-safe electrical stimulation equipment to simulate endogenous bioelectricity for cell function modulation is of great significance for its clinical transformation. [...] Read more.
Bioelectricity is an indispensable part of organisms and plays a vital role in cell modulation and tissue/organ development. The development of convenient and bio-safe electrical stimulation equipment to simulate endogenous bioelectricity for cell function modulation is of great significance for its clinical transformation. In this review, we introduce the advantages of an electromechanical nanogenerator (EMNG) as a source of electrical stimulation in the biomedical field and systematically overview recent advances in EMNGs for cell modulation, mainly including cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation. Finally, we emphasize the significance of self-powered and biomimetic electrostimulation in cell modulation and discuss its challenges and future prospects in both basic research and clinical translation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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46 pages, 28715 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances on Hybrid Piezo-Triboelectric Bio-Nanogenerators: Materials, Architectures and Circuitry
by Massimo Mariello
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(1), 64-109; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2010004 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4577
Abstract
Nanogenerators, based on piezoelectric or triboelectric materials, have emerged in the recent years as an attractive cost-effective technology for harvesting energy from renewable and clean energy sources, but also for human sensing and biomedical wearable/implantable applications. Advances in materials engineering have enlightened new [...] Read more.
Nanogenerators, based on piezoelectric or triboelectric materials, have emerged in the recent years as an attractive cost-effective technology for harvesting energy from renewable and clean energy sources, but also for human sensing and biomedical wearable/implantable applications. Advances in materials engineering have enlightened new opportunities for the creation and use of novel biocompatible soft materials as well as micro/nano-structured or chemically-functionalized interfaces. Hybridization is a key concept that can be used to enhance the performances of the single devices, by coupling more transducing mechanisms in a single-integrated micro-system. It has attracted plenty of research interest due to the promising effects of signal enhancement and simultaneous adaptability to different operating conditions. This review covers and classifies the main types of hybridization of piezo-triboelectric bio-nanogenerators and it also provides an overview of the most recent advances in terms of material synthesis, engineering applications, power-management circuits and technical issues for the development of reliable implantable devices. State-of-the-art applications in the fields of energy harvesting, in vitro/in vivo biomedical sensing, implantable bioelectronics are outlined and presented. The applicative perspectives and challenges are finally discussed, with the aim to suggest improvements in the design and implementation of next-generation hybrid bio-nanogenerators and biosensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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23 pages, 4548 KiB  
Review
Mechanical Conversion and Transmission Systems for Controlling Triboelectric Nanogenerators
by Nghia Dinh Huynh and Dukhyun Choi
Nanoenergy Adv. 2022, 2(1), 29-51; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv2010002 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3692
Abstract
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are a promising renewable energy technology. Many applications have been successfully demonstrated, such as self-powered Internet-of-Things sensors and many wearables, and those portable power source devices are useful in daily life due to their light weight, cost effectiveness, and high [...] Read more.
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are a promising renewable energy technology. Many applications have been successfully demonstrated, such as self-powered Internet-of-Things sensors and many wearables, and those portable power source devices are useful in daily life due to their light weight, cost effectiveness, and high power conversion. To boost TENG performance, many researchers are working to modulate the surface morphology of the triboelectric layer through surface-engineering, surface modification, material selection, etc. Although triboelectric material can obtain a high charge density, achieving high output performance that is predictable and uniform requires mechanical energy conversion systems (MECSs), and their development remains a huge challenge. Many previous works did not provide an MECS or introduced only a simple mechanical system to support the TENG integration system device. However, these kinds of designs cannot boost the output performance or control the output frequency waveform. Currently, some MECS designs use transmission conversion components such as gear-trains, cam-noses, spiral springs, flywheels, or governors that can provide the step-up, controllable, predictable, and uniform output performance required for TENGs to be suitable for daily applications. In this review, we briefly introduce various MECS designs for regulating the output performance of TENGs. First, we provide an overview of simple machines that can be used when designing MECSs and introduce the basic working principles of TENGs. The following sections review MECSs with gear-based, cam-based, flywheel-based, and multiple-stage designs and show how the MECS structure can be used to regulate the input flow for the energy harvester. Last, we present a perspective and outline for a full system design protocol to correlate MECS designs with future TENG applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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50 pages, 17612 KiB  
Review
Ferroelectric Materials Based Coupled Nanogenerators
by Jabir Zamir Minhas, Md Al Mahadi Hasan and Ya Yang
Nanoenergy Adv. 2021, 1(2), 131-180; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv1020007 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 6314
Abstract
Innovations in nanogenerator technology foster pervading self-power devices for human use, environmental surveillance, energy transfiguration, intelligent energy storage systems, and wireless networks. Energy harvesting from ubiquitous ambient mechanical, thermal, and solar energies by nanogenerators is the hotspot of the modern electronics research era. [...] Read more.
Innovations in nanogenerator technology foster pervading self-power devices for human use, environmental surveillance, energy transfiguration, intelligent energy storage systems, and wireless networks. Energy harvesting from ubiquitous ambient mechanical, thermal, and solar energies by nanogenerators is the hotspot of the modern electronics research era. Ferroelectric materials, which show spontaneous polarization, are reversible when exposed to the external electric field, and are responsive to external stimuli of strain, heat, and light are promising for modeling nanogenerators. This review demonstrates ferroelectric material-based nanogenerators, practicing the discrete and coupled pyroelectric, piezoelectric, triboelectric, and ferroelectric photovoltaic effects. Their working mechanisms and way of optimizing their performances, exercising the conjunction of effects in a standalone device, and multi-effects coupled nanogenerators are greatly versatile and reliable and encourage resolution in the energy crisis. Additionally, the expectancy of productive lines of future ensuing and propitious application domains are listed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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40 pages, 8599 KiB  
Review
Progress in the Triboelectric Human–Machine Interfaces (HMIs)-Moving from Smart Gloves to AI/Haptic Enabled HMI in the 5G/IoT Era
by Zhongda Sun, Minglu Zhu and Chengkuo Lee
Nanoenergy Adv. 2021, 1(1), 81-120; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv1010005 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 8377
Abstract
Entering the 5G and internet of things (IoT) era, human–machine interfaces (HMIs) capable of providing humans with more intuitive interaction with the digitalized world have experienced a flourishing development in the past few years. Although the advanced sensing techniques based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor [...] Read more.
Entering the 5G and internet of things (IoT) era, human–machine interfaces (HMIs) capable of providing humans with more intuitive interaction with the digitalized world have experienced a flourishing development in the past few years. Although the advanced sensing techniques based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or microelectromechanical system (MEMS) solutions, e.g., camera, microphone, inertial measurement unit (IMU), etc., and flexible solutions, e.g., stretchable conductor, optical fiber, etc., have been widely utilized as sensing components for wearable/non-wearable HMIs development, the relatively high-power consumption of these sensors remains a concern, especially for wearable/portable scenarios. Recent progress on triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) self-powered sensors provides a new possibility for realizing low-power/self-sustainable HMIs by directly converting biomechanical energies into valuable sensory information. Leveraging the advantages of wide material choices and diversified structural design, TENGs have been successfully developed into various forms of HMIs, including glove, glasses, touchpad, exoskeleton, electronic skin, etc., for sundry applications, e.g., collaborative operation, personal healthcare, robot perception, smart home, etc. With the evolving artificial intelligence (AI) and haptic feedback technologies, more advanced HMIs could be realized towards intelligent and immersive human–machine interactions. Hence, in this review, we systematically introduce the current TENG HMIs in the aspects of different application scenarios, i.e., wearable, robot-related and smart home, and prospective future development enabled by the AI/haptic-feedback technology. Discussion on implementing self-sustainable/zero-power/passive HMIs in this 5G/IoT era and our perspectives are also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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23 pages, 7529 KiB  
Review
Surface Engineering for Enhanced Triboelectric Nanogenerator
by Mervat Ibrahim, Jinxing Jiang, Zhen Wen and Xuhui Sun
Nanoenergy Adv. 2021, 1(1), 58-80; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv1010004 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 9052
Abstract
Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is the new technique that can convert low-frequency mechanical energy into effective electricity. As an energy collector, the pursuit of high output characteristics is understandable. Although high charge density has been achieved by working in high vacuum or charge pumping [...] Read more.
Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is the new technique that can convert low-frequency mechanical energy into effective electricity. As an energy collector, the pursuit of high output characteristics is understandable. Although high charge density has been achieved by working in high vacuum or charge pumping techniques, it remains challenging to obtain the high output performance directly in the atmosphere. Herein, surface-engineering of the triboelectric layer for enhancing output performance has been reviewed carefully. By constructing surface morphology or developing surface modification, high performance of TENGs is finally presented in the review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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26 pages, 7609 KiB  
Review
Advances of High-Performance Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting
by Huamei Wang, Liang Xu and Zhonglin Wang
Nanoenergy Adv. 2021, 1(1), 32-57; https://doi.org/10.3390/nanoenergyadv1010003 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 6049
Abstract
The ocean is an enormous source of blue energy, whose exploitation is greatly beneficial for dealing with energy challenges for human beings. As a new approach for harvesting ocean blue energy, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) show superiorities in many aspects over traditional technologies. Here, [...] Read more.
The ocean is an enormous source of blue energy, whose exploitation is greatly beneficial for dealing with energy challenges for human beings. As a new approach for harvesting ocean blue energy, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) show superiorities in many aspects over traditional technologies. Here, recent advances of TENGs for harvesting blue energy are reviewed, mainly focusing on advanced designs of TENG units for enhancing the performance, through which the response of the TENG unit to slow water agitations and the output power of the device are largely improved. Networking strategy and power management are also briefly discussed. As a promising clean energy technology, blue energy harvesting based on TENGs is expected to make great contributions for achieving carbon neutrality and developing self-powered marine systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanogenerators)
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