Transparent triboelectric nanogenerators and self-powered pressure sensors based on micropatterned plastic films

Nano Lett. 2012 Jun 13;12(6):3109-14. doi: 10.1021/nl300988z. Epub 2012 May 11.


Transparent, flexible and high efficient power sources are important components of organic electronic and optoelectronic devices. In this work, based on the principle of the previously demonstrated triboelectric generator, we demonstrate a new high-output, flexible and transparent nanogenerator by using transparent polymer materials. We have fabricated three types of regular and uniform polymer patterned arrays (line, cube, and pyramid) to improve the efficiency of the nanogenerator. The power generation of the pyramid-featured device far surpassed that exhibited by the unstructured films and gave an output voltage of up to 18 V at a current density of ∼0.13 μA/cm(2). Furthermore, the as-prepared nanogenerator can be applied as a self-powered pressure sensor for sensing a water droplet (8 mg, ∼3.6 Pa in contact pressure) and a falling feather (20 mg, ∼0.4 Pa in contact pressure) with a low-end detection limit of ∼13 mPa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electricity
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / instrumentation*
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Plastics / chemistry*
  • Transducers, Pressure*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Plastics