Review Article


2018, 11(6): 2951–2969


Development, applications, and future directions of triboelectric nanogenerators

Mingyuan Ma1,§, Zhuo Kang1,§, Qingliang Liao1 (), Qian Zhang1, Fangfang Gao1, Xuan Zhao1, Zheng Zhang1, and Yue Zhang1,2 ()

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1 State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China 

2 Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials and Technologies, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China 

§ Mingyuan Ma and Zhuo Kang contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: triboelectric nanogenerator, energy harvesting, self-powered sensors, blue energy, Internet of Things
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ABSTRACT Since the invention of the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) in 2012, it has become one of the most vital innovations in energy harvesting technologies. The TENG has seen enormous progress to date, particularly in applications for energy harvesting and self-powered sensing. It starts with the simple working principles of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction, but can scavenge almost any kind of ambient mechanical energy in our daily life into electricity. Extraordinary output performance optimization of the TENG has been achieved, with high area power density and energy conversion efficiency. Moreover, TENGs can also be utilized as self-powered active sensors to monitor many environmental parameters. This review describes the recent progress in mainstream energy harvesting and self-powered sensing research based on TENG technology. The birth and development of the TENG are introduced, following which structural designs and performance optimizations for output performance enhancement of the TENG are discussed. The major applications of the TENG as a sustainable power source or a self-powered sensor are presented. The TENG, with rationally designed structures, can convert irregular and mostly low-frequency mechanical energies from the environment, such as human motion, mechanical vibration, moving automobiles, wind, raindrops, and ocean waves. In addition, the development of self-powered active sensors for a variety of environmental simulations based on the TENG is presented. The TENG plays a great role in promoting the development of emerging Internet of Things, which can make everyday objects connect more smartly and energyefficiently in the coming years. Finally, the future directions and perspectives of the TENG are outlined. The TENG is not only a sustainable micro-power source for small devices, but also serves as a potential macro-scale generator of power from water waves in the future.
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Development, applications, and future directions of triboelectric nanogenerators. Nano Res. 2018, 11(6): 2951–2969

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