P-type polymer-hybridized high-performance piezoelectric nanogenerators

Keun Young Lee, Brijesh Kumar, Ju Seok Seo, Kwon Ho Kim, Jung Inn Sohn, Seung Nam Cha, Dukhyun Choi, Zhong Lin Wang, Sang Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enhancing the output power of a nanogenerator is essential in applications as a sustainable power source for wireless sensors and microelectronics. We report here a novel approach that greatly enhances piezoelectric power generation by introducing a p-type polymer layer on a piezoelectric semiconducting thin film. Holes at the film surface greatly reduce the piezoelectric potential screening effect caused by free electrons in a piezoelectric semiconducting material. Furthermore, additional carriers from a conducting polymer and a shift in the Fermi level help in increasing the power output. Poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) was used as a p-type polymer on piezoelectric semiconducting zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film, and phenyl-C 61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) was added to P3HT to improve carrier transport. The ZnO/P3HT:PCBM-assembled piezoelectric power generator demonstrated 18-fold enhancement in the output voltage and tripled the current, relative to a power generator with ZnO only at a strain of 0.068%. The overall output power density exceeded 0.88 W/cm 3, and the average power conversion efficiency was up to 18%. This high power generation enabled red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes to turn on after only tens of times bending the generator. This approach offers a breakthrough in realizing a high-performance flexible piezoelectric energy harvester for self-powered electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1959-1964
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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