Radial-arrayed rotary electrification for high performance triboelectric generator

Nat Commun. 2014 Mar 4;5:3426. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4426.


Harvesting mechanical energy is an important route in obtaining cost-effective, clean and sustainable electric energy. Here we report a two-dimensional planar-structured triboelectric generator on the basis of contact electrification. The radial arrays of micro-sized sectors on the contact surfaces enable a high output power of 1.5 W (area power density of 19 mW cm(-2)) at an efficiency of 24%. The triboelectric generator can effectively harness various ambient motions, including light wind, tap water flow and normal body movement. Through a power management circuit, a triboelectric-generator-based power-supplying system can provide a constant direct-current source for sustainably driving and charging commercial electronics, immediately demonstrating the feasibility of the triboelectric generator as a practical power source. Given exceptional power density, extremely low cost and unique applicability resulting from distinctive mechanism and structure, the triboelectric generator can be applied not only to self-powered electronics but also possibly to power generation at a large scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.