Nylon-11 nanowires for triboelectric energy harvesting

Yeon Sik Choi, Sohini Kar-Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Triboelectric energy harvesting from ambient mechanical sources relies on motion-generated surface charge transfer between materials with different electron affinities. In order to achieve highly efficient energy harvesting perfor-mance, choosing materials with a high surface charge density is crucial, and odd-numbered polyamides (Nylons), such as Nylon-11, are particularly prom-ising due to their strong electron-donating characteristics and the possibility to achieve dipolar alignment leading to high surface potential. The use of Nylon-11 as a material for triboelectric energy harvesting has been rather limited due to the extreme processing conditions required for film fabrication, and the high-voltage poling process required for dipole alignment. However, several methods to achieve “self-poled” Nylon-11 nanowires via facile nanoconfinement techniques have been demonstrated recently, leading to highly efficient Nylon-11 nanowire-based triboelectric nanogenerators. Here, we review the most recent advances in the fabrication of Nylon-11 nanowires, with a focus on how nanoconfinement-based fabrication methods can be used to control phase and crystallinity. These growth methods lead to self-poled nanowires without the requirement for subsequent electrical poling, facilitat-ing their integration into triboelectric energy harvesting devices. Strategies to fabricate Nylon-11 nanowires for applications in triboelectric devices can be extended to other polymeric families as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12063
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant (ERC-2014-STG-639526, NANOGEN). S. K.-N. and Y. S. C. are grateful for financial support from this same grant. Y. S. C. acknowledges studentship funding through the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International

Funding Information:
(Associate Professor) of Device and Energy Materials in the Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge. She received a BSc (Honors) in Physics in 2001 from the University of Calcutta, India, followed by MS (2004) and PhD (2009) degrees in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Following a postdoctoral appointment at the Department of Materials Science in Cambridge, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2012, and an ERC Starting Grant in 2015. Her research focuses on functional nanomaterials for applications in energy, sensing, and biomedicine.

Funding Information:
Trust. S. K.-N. would also like to thank Cambridge Display Technology Limited (Company Number 02672530) for supporting this work.

Funding Information:
Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust; H2020 European Research Council, Grant/Award Number: ERC-2014-STG-639526.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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