Nanogenerator made of ZnO nanosheet networks

Zhang R, Hummelgård M, Olsen M, Örtegren J, Olin H. Nanogenerator made of ZnO nanosheet networks. Semiconductor Science and Technology [Internet]. 2017;32(5).

The piezoelectricity of nanomaterials attracts a great deal of attention due to its broad application, including the harvesting of ambient mechanical energy to power small electronics devices. We report here a simple method to fabricate piezoelectric nanogenerators consisting of networks of ZnO nanosheets grown on aluminum (Al) foils, where the Al acts as both a substrate for growth and as an electrode contacting the ZnO network. A second, top electrode was tapped, rolled, or rubbed against the ZnO to generate piezoelectricity. This second electrode was either a copper foil or fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass. A piezo voltage of up to 0.924 V was detected during rolling and 6 μA was the highest current observed when rubbing the ZnO film with a FTO glass. Due to its simplicity, this nanogenerator fabrication method has the potential to be scaled up for the industrial production of piezoelectric energy harvesting devices.