Piezoelectric nanogenerator for bio-mechanical strain measurement

Beilstein J Nanotechnol. 2022 Feb 7;13:192-200. doi: 10.3762/bjnano.13.14. eCollection 2022.


Piezoelectric materials have attracted more attention than other materials in the field of textiles. Piezoelectric materials offer advantages as transducers, sensors, and energy-harvesting devices. Commonly, ceramics and quartz are used in such applications. However, polymeric piezoelectric materials have the advantage that they can be converted into any shape and size. In smart textiles, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and other piezoelectric polymers are used in the form of fibers, filaments, and composites. In this research, PVDF nanofibers were developed and integrated onto a knitted fabric to fabricate a piezoelectric device for human body angle monitoring. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses were used to study the morphology and to confirm the beta phase in fibers. The results reveal that the nanofibers made from solutions with high concentration were smooth and defect-free, compared to the fibers obtained from solutions with low concentration, and possess high crystallinity as well. Under high dynamic strain more output voltage is generated than under low dynamic strain. The maximum current density shown by the device is 172.5 nA/cm2. The developed piezoelectric nanofiber sensor was then integrated into a knitted fabric through stitching to be used for angle measurement. With increasing bending angle, the output voltage increased. The promising results show that the textile-based piezoelectric sensor developed in this study has a great potential to be used as an angle measuring wearable device for the human body due to its high current density output and flexibility.

Keywords: PVDF; electrospinning; human body angle measurement; nanofibers; piezoelectric.

Grant support

The authors sincerely acknowledge the financial support from the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan under the project of Technology Development Fund, grant number: TDF03-338.