Recently, wearable, self-powered, active human motion sensors have attracted a great deal of attention for biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology, and entertainment. Although some progress has been achieved, new types of stretchable and wearable devices are urgently required to promote the practical application. In this article, targeted at self-powered active human motion sensing, a stretchable, flexible, and wearable triboelectric nanogenerator based on kinesio tapes (KT-TENG) haven been designed and investigated systematically. The device can effectively work during stretching or bending. Both the short-circuit transferred charge and open-circuit voltage exhibit an excellent linear relationship with the stretched displacements and bending angles, enabling its application as a wearable self-powered sensor for real-time human motion monitoring, like knee joint bending and human gestures. Moreover, the KT-TENG shows good stability and durability for long-term operation. Compared with the previous works, the KT-TENG without a macro-scale air gap inside, or stretchable triboelectric layers, possesses various advantages, such as simple fabrication, compact structure, superior flexibility and stability, excellent conformable contact with skin, and wide-range selection of triboelectric materials. This work provides a new prospect for a wearable, self-powered, active human motion sensor and has numerous potential applications in the fields of healthcare monitoring, human-machine interfacing, and prosthesis developing.
Keywords: biomechanical sensing; energy harvesting; flexible and wearable electronics; self-power active sensor; triboelectric nanogenerator.