Stretchable nanogenerator uses carbon nanotubes to boost output

March 10, 2020 //By Julien Happich
Researchers from Nagoya University have developed a transparent and stretchable TENG nanogenerator that generates up to 8W/m2 using a layer of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in an elastomer matrix.

Schematic of the stretchable TENG and measurement setup.

The researchers at Nagoya University shared their findings in a paper titled "High-output, transparent, stretchable triboelectric nanogenerator based on carbon nanotube thin film toward wearable energy harvesters” published in the Nano Energy journal.

The paper reports several proof-of-concept stretchable TENGs, including a 12x12cm unit, 92% transparent and able to power 30 blue LEDs connected in series for each gentle tap from a hand. The authors also attached a 500μm thin TENG to the palm of a nitride glove, connecting it to a string of 16 blue LEDs on the back of the glove. Gentle claps were enough to instantly power the LEDs, with a current density as high as 48mA/m2.

Unlike previously reported stretchable TENGs whose output power remains usually insufficient for practical use, here the authors report an output power up to 8W/m2 for devices only requiring a simple fabrication process such as spray coating, which could easily be scaled up to large areas.

Next: Carbon nanotubes in nanogenerator

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