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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering