Here we report a fully flexible, foldable nanopatterned wearable triboelectric nanogenerator (WTNG) with high power-generating performance and mechanical robustness. Both a silver (Ag)-coated textile and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) nanopatterns based on ZnO nanorod arrays on a Ag-coated textile template were used as active triboelectric materials. A high output voltage and current of about 120 V and 65 μA, respectively, were observed from a nanopatterned PDMS-based WTNG, while an output voltage and current of 30 V and 20 μA were obtained by the non-nanopatterned flat PDMS-based WTNG under the same compressive force of 10 kgf. Furthermore, very high voltage and current outputs with an average value of 170 V and 120 μA, respectively, were obtained from a four-layer-stacked WTNG under the same compressive force. Notably it was found there are no significant differences in the output voltages measured from the multilayer-stacked WTNG over 12 000 cycles, confirming the excellent mechanical durability of WTNGs. Finally, we successfully demonstrated the self-powered operation of light-emitting diodes, a liquid crystal display, and a keyless vehicle entry system only with the output power of our WTNG without any help of external power sources.
Keywords: nanogenerator; nanopattern; self-powering; triboelectricity; wearable electronics.