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. 2020 Jan 2;11(1):58.
doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13653-w.

Conjunction of Triboelectric Nanogenerator With Induction Coils as Wireless Power Sources and Self-Powered Wireless Sensors

Free PMC article

Conjunction of Triboelectric Nanogenerator With Induction Coils as Wireless Power Sources and Self-Powered Wireless Sensors

Chi Zhang et al. Nat Commun. .
Free PMC article


Here we demonstrate a magnetic resonance coupling based wireless triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) and fully self-powered wireless sensors. By integrating a microswitch and an inductor with the TENG, the pulsed voltage output is converted into a sinusoidal voltage signal with a fixed frequency. This can be transmitted wirelessly from the transmit coil to the resonant-coupled receiver coil with an efficiency of 73% for a 5 cm distance between the two coils (10 cm diameter). Analytic models of the oscillating and coupled voltage signals for the wireless energy transfer are developed, showing excellent agreement with the experimental results. A TENG of 40 × 50 mm2 can wirelessly light up 70 LEDs or charge up a 15 μF capacitor to 12.5 V in ~90 s. The system is further utilized for two types of fully self-powered wireless chipless sensors with no microelectronic components. The technologies demonstrate an innovative strategy for a wireless 'green' power source and sensing.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1. Magnetic resonance coupled wireless TENG.
a The schematic and b the equivalent circuit of the magnetic resonance-coupled wireless energy transmission system. c The typical voltage output of the contact-separation mode PA6/PDMS TENG with the microswitch under cyclic pressing. d The oscillating voltage signals and e their fast Fourier transformation spectra of the emitter and receiver modules of the MR-WTENG system. The working condition of the TENG for c, d, e is 50 N contact force, 4 Hz contact frequency, and 6 mm spacer distance between the two triboplates, and the transmission distance between the two coils is 5 cm.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2. Influence of capacitance C2 on energy transmission.
a The transmitted and b the received voltage waveforms with the system working at the resonant-coupled state. c The transmitted and d the received voltage waveforms with the system working at a nonresonant-coupled state. e The transferred energy value and f the energy transmission efficiency of the MR-WTENG system as a function of C2. All of the experiments and theoretical analyses were conducted using the conditions shown in Table 1 with C2 as a variable.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3. Effects of load, coil distance, and coil diameter on energy transmission.
a, b, c are the received voltage waveforms at different distances between the two coils and different load resistances. d The theoretical calculated energy transmission efficiency of different transmission distances, as a function of load resistance. e The theoretical and experimental energy transmission efficiency (with the distance between the two coils set at 5 cm), as a function of load resistance. f The optimal load resistance and g the energy transmission efficiency of the MR-WTENG system, as a function of distance between the two coils. Here, the diameters of the coils are 10 cm, with an inductance of 62.5 μH. h The photo of the coils with a diameter of 60 cm for the MR-WTENG system. i The comparison of the transmission efficiency under various distances between the coils with different coil diameters of 10 cm and 60 cm, respectively.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4. Applications of wireless power transfer.
a Experimental setup for the wireless TENG and wireless power transfer. b A photo of the resonant-coupled transmitter and receiver coils. c A photo of the wirelessly lit up 70 40 mW-rated LEDs with high brightness. d The voltages of the storage capacitors as a function of charging time with the coil distance of 5 cm and 10 cm, respectively at the resonant-coupled and nonresonant-coupled states. The storage capacitor value is 15 µF for both the charging cases. e A photo of a shoe integrated with the MR-WTENG for harvesting walking energy. f The photo of a digital watch that could be wirelessly powered.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5. Wireless signal transmission for sensing application with TENG as the sensor.
a System schematic of the wireless force sensor based on TENG. b, c are the received voltage signals with a coil distance of 0.35 m and 2 m, respectively. d The summary of the peak-to-peak voltage of the received signals as a function of coil distance. e The FFT spectrum of the received voltage signal under various contact forces. f The received peak-to-peak voltage and resonant frequency as a function of contact force with a 2 m coil distance. The inner and outer diameters of the coils are 21.5 cm and 27 cm, respectively.
Fig. 6
Fig. 6. MR-WTENG-based wireless chipless sensor.
a The configuration of the wireless chipless sensor system with the sensor integrated in the resonant circuit. b, c are the structure and photo of the electrospun PVDF nanofiber membrane-based capacitive-type force sensor. d The photo of the wireless sensing system. e The capacitance variation with different pressures applied to the sensor. f The FFT spectra received by the remote receiver at 2 m as a function of pressure applied on the sensor. The diameter of the two coils is 21.5/27 cm for this experiment, C2 = 82 pF and RL = 3.3 kΩ.

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