Aim high energy conversion efficiency in triboelectric nanogenerators

Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2020 Sep 28;21(1):683-688. doi: 10.1080/14686996.2020.1800366.


Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) that enable the conversion of a given mechanical energy into electrical energy at high efficiency have been very important in practice. Since the given mechanical energy is involuntarily converted to secondary energy sources (light, heat, and sound during triboelectrification), the significant amount of energy being converted is lost. Various studies have thus been continuously carried out to overcome this issue. Since the first TENGs found in 2012, various developments in TENGs have been made: (1) the mechanical-electrical energy conversion characteristics of potential organic/inorganic material groups have been introduced, (2) the integration into the device structure considering the diversity of mechanical energy, and (3) user friendly and industrial application platforms have been aggressively studied. Despite the remarkable progress and improvement of TENGs, their mechanical-electrical conversion efficiency is still quite low. We therefore need to discover and develop materials that can be converted to improve efficiency. Here, we outline the recent progress made in a group of high polarity triboelectric materials that exploit surface charge density and charge transfer properties. We also review the recent boosting powering TENGs. The aim of this work is to provide insight into the future direction and strategies for highly enhanced powering TENGs through material research.

Keywords: 206 Energy conversion; Mechanical energy harvesting technology; high energy conversion efficiency; high polarity; recovery; storage; transport; triboelectric nanogenerators.

Grant support

This work was supported by the GRRC program of Gyeonggi province (GRRC Sungkyunkwan 2017-B05, Development of acoustic sensor based on piezoelectric nanomaterials) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Grant number: R18XA02).