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Publication Title | Influence of Thickness and Contact Area on the Performance of PDMS-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerators

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Influence of Thickness and Contact Area on the Performance of PDMS-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerators
A. Gomes, C. Rodrigues, A. M. Pereira, J. Ventura
IFIMUP and IN-Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Departamento de F ́ısica e Astronomia da Faculdade de Ciˆencias da Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 687, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
Abstract
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are an emerging mechanical energy harvesting technology that was recently demonstrated. Due to their flexibility, they can be fabricated in various configurations and conse- quently have a large number of applications. Here, we present a study on the influence of the thickness of the triboelectric layer and of the contact surface area between two triboelectrical materials on the electric signals generated by a TENG. Using the PDMS-Nylon tribo-pair, and varying the thickness of the PDMS layer, we demonstrate that the generated voltage decreases with increasing thickness. However, the max- imum generated current presents an inverse behaviour, increasing with increasing PDMS thickness. The maximum output power initially increases with increasing PDMS thickness up to 32 μm, followed by a sharp decrease. Using the same tribo-pair (but now with a constant PDMS thickness), we verified that increasing the contact surface area between the two tribo-materials increases the electrical signals generated from the triboelectric effect.
Keywords:
Triboelectricity, triboelectric materials, thickness layer,contact surface area.
1. Introduction
The most recent energy harvesting technology comes from the triboelectric effect [1, 2, 3, 4]. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are based on the conjunction of triboelectrification and electrostatic induction in which a material becomes electrically charged after it comes into contact with another material through friction [5, 6, 7, 8]. The discovery of TENGs opened a new field for materials scientists to fabricate nanogen- erators that convert mechanical energy at high efficiencies [1, 2, 9, 10, 11] and that are easy to integrate [12]. This type of nanogenerators have innumerous advantages, such as flexibility, environmental friendliness, versatility and extremely high output voltages.
TENGs can have different configurations, depending on the way the two triboelectric materials come into contact, leading to four operation modes: vertical contact-separation, lateral-sliding, single-electrode and freestanding triboelectric-layer [2, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16]. Theoretical TENGs studies [12, 17, 18, 19] found that, as first approximation, the output voltage (V) of a dielectric-to-dielectric TENG in the contact-mode is given by [6, 20]:
V = − Q [d0 + x(t)] + σx(t) (1) Aε0 ε0
where A is the triboelectric surface area, Q is the transferred charge, x(t) is the time-dependence distance
between the two triboelectric layers, ε0 is the permittivity of free space and d0 is the effective dielectric
thickness given by d1 + d2 (where d1 and d2 are the thicknesses of the two dielectric materials and εr1 and εr1 εr2
εr2 are the relative dielectric constants of dielectrics 1 and 2). In the open-circuit case, there is no charge transfer (Q = 0), so the open-circuit voltage (VOC ) is given by:
VOC = σx(t) (2) ε0
arXiv:1803.10070v1 [cond-mat.mes-hall] 27 Mar 2018

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