Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are considered as one of the most important renewable power sources for mobile electronic devices and various sensors in the Internet of Things era. However, their performance should inherently be degraded by the wearing of contact surfaces after long-term use. Here, a ferroelectric polymer is shown to enable TENGs to generate considerable electricity without contact. Ferroelectric-polymer-embedded TENG (FE-TENG) consists of indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer, and a poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) polymer. In contrast to down- and non-polarization, up-polarized PVDF causes significantly large triboelectric charge, rapidly saturated voltage/current, and considerable remaining charge due to the modulated surface potential and increased capacitance. The remained triboelectric charges flow by just approaching/receding the ITO electrode to/from the PDMS without contact, which is sufficient to power light-emitting diodes and liquid crystal displays. Additionally, the FE-TENG can charge an Li-battery with a significantly reduced number of contact cycles. Furthermore, an arch-shaped FE-TENG is demonstrated to operate a wireless temperature sensor network by scavenging the irregular and random vibrations of water waves. This work provides an innovative and simple method to increase conversion efficiency and lifetime of TENGs; which widens the applications of TENG to inaccessible areas like the ocean.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2016R1A2B4014134, 2017R1A2B2006568, and 2018M3D1A1058794). G.M. would like to thank for the financial support from La Caixa Foundation under the Junior Leader Retaining Fellowship and EnSO project, accepted for funding within the Electronic Components and Systems For European Leadership Joint Undertaking in collaboration with the European Union's H2020 Framework Programme (H2020/2014‐2020) and National Authorities, under grant agreement no. 692482.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics