Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting

Usman Khan, Sang Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6429-6432
Number of pages4
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 26

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support from the Framework of International Cooperation Program managed by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015K2A2A7056357) and the National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST) grant by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. CRC-15-05-ETRI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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