Increased Interfacial Area between Dielectric Layer and Electrode of Triboelectric Nanogenerator toward Robustness and Boosted Energy Output

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Jan 6;9(1):71. doi: 10.3390/nano9010071.


Given the operation conditions wherein mechanical wear is inevitable, modifying bulk properties of the dielectric layer of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) has been highlighted to boost its energy output. However, several concerns still remain in regards to the modification due to high-cost materials and cumbersome processes being required. Herein, we report TENG with a microstructured Al electrode (TENG_ME) as a new approach to modifying bulk properties of the dielectric layer. The microstructured Al electrode is utilized as a component of TENG to increase the interfacial area between the dielectric layer and electrode. Compared to the TENG with a flat Al electrode (TENG_F), the capacitance of TENG_ME is about 1.15 times higher than that of TENG_F, and the corresponding energy outputs of a TENG_ME are 117 μA and 71 V, each of which is over 1.2 times higher than that of the TENG_F. The robustness of TENG_ME is also confirmed in the measurement of energy outputs changing after sandpaper abrasion tests, repetitive contact, and separation (more than 10⁵ cycles). The results imply that the robustness and long-lasting performance of the TENG_ME could be enough to apply in reliable auxiliary power sources for electronic devices.

Keywords: increased interfacial area; long-lasting performance; microstructured Al electrode by wet etching in HCl; robust triboelectric nanogenerator.