Microwave-welded single-walled carbon nanotubes as suitable electrodes for triboelectric energy harvesting from biomaterials and bioproducts

Hyun Soo Kim, Dong Yeong Kim, Ji Hye Kwak, Jong Hun Kim, Moonkang Choi, Do Hyung Kim, Dong Woo Lee, Dae Sol Kong, Jinhong Park, Sunshin Jung, Gwan Hyoung Lee, Minbaek Lee, Jong Hoon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Biomaterials and bioproducts have unique characteristics of being renewable, abundant, biodegradable, and having rough surfaces. In order to implement them into highly efficient triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) applications, the contact electrode should be cheap, flexible, able to withstand outdoor environments, and have a rough surface. Here, microwave-welded single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are shown to effectively harvest the mechanical vibrational energy from biomaterials and bioproducts. Selective and flash microwave heating provides firm welding of SWCNTs to a polycarbonate substrate without significant losses in flexibility, transparency, and electrical conductivity. Microwave-welded SWCNT electrodes were successfully deployed as single-electrode TENGs to harvest energy from cellulose film, hanji paper, and cherry leaf. The cellulose- and paper-based TENGs showed the quite stable triboelectric outputs even after excessive contacts and a long period of time. The leaf-based TENG showed the significantly modified triboelectric outputs due to the moisture evaporation induced shrinkage and roughness of the surface. The SWCNT electrode generated ca. ten- and two-fold larger voltage and current, respectively, than those obtained using an indium-tin oxide (ITO) electrode. Using a fan-shaped leaf-based TENG, multiple light emitting diodes and a cellular phone were successfully powered without a battery. This work implies that the microwave-welded SWCNT electrode with rough pored surface and strong resistance against environmental shocks could be a good candidate for the outdoor biomaterials and indoor bioproducts implemented TENGs to harness random- and low-frequency vibrational energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-346
Number of pages9
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Prof. B.-H. Choi in Department of Biological Sciences, Inha University for help in high resolution photograph and Dr. J. T. Han in Nano Hybrid Technology Research Center, KERI for help in spray coating. 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, ICT & Future Planning ( 2016R1A2B4014134 , 2017 M2B2A4049475 , 2016M3A7B4910940 , 2017R1A5A1014862 , SRC program: vdWMRC center ), also by the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) Primary Research Program through the National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST), as funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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