A unified contact force-dependent model for triboelectric nanogenerators accounting for surface roughness

Xu, Y. , Min, G., Gadegaard, N. , Dahiya, R. and Mulvihill, D. M. (2020) A unified contact force-dependent model for triboelectric nanogenerators accounting for surface roughness. Nano Energy, 76, 105067. (doi: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.105067)

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Abstract

Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) allow generation of electricity based on charge transfer during repeated contact of suitably chosen surfaces. Recently, rapid advances have been made in boosting their performance, but advancement in fundamental understanding has progressed more slowly. Currently, the most popular TENG models assume idealized flat surfaces that guarantee complete contact and a contact force (or load)-independent response. However, all real surfaces possess some level of surface roughness which is known to produce a load-dependent contact area. We develop a new unified model (for dielectric-to-dielectric TENGs) which adds consideration of surface roughness to the established distance-dependent electric field model. We account for surface roughness by applying Persson's contact theory to determine the load-dependent contact area. The model is applicable from first touch to nearly complete contact provided deformation remains elastic. Compared to load-independent approaches, the presented model is a better predictor of TENG performance. It captures the load-dependent nature of TENG performance apparent in recent tests. It predicts that the electrical output can be expected to be tiny at low contact loads, but should converge to an upper-bound at higher loads as the contact area approaches complete contact. Comparison with test results reveal substantially better prediction of open circuit voltage compared to load-independent models which tend to overestimate considerably. By assisting the designers with better predictions of TENG output, the developed unified theory has huge potential for advancing the use of TENGs in applications such as wearables (i.e. low loads) to tidal or wave energy (i.e. large loads).

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Xu, Dr Yang and Dahiya, Professor Ravinder and Mulvihill, Dr Daniel and Min, Guanbo and Gadegaard, Professor Nikolaj
Creator Roles:
Xu, Y.Methodology, Conceptualization, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Visualization, Investigation, Writing – original draft
Min, G.Investigation
Gadegaard, N.Supervision, Writing – review and editing, Funding acquisition
Dahiya, R.Supervision, Writing – review and editing, Funding acquisition, Project administration
Mulvihill, D. M.Supervision, Conceptualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition
Authors: Xu, Y., Min, G., Gadegaard, N., Dahiya, R., and Mulvihill, D. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Nano Energy
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2211-2855
ISSN (Online):2211-3282
Published Online:09 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nano Energy 76: 105067
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170185Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Printed Tactile SKINRavinder DahiyaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M002527/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering
301728Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Printed Tactile SKINRavinder DahiyaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R029644/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering
302858Fundamental Mechanical Behaviour of Nano and Micro Structured InterfacesDaniel MulvihillLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2017-353ENG - Systems Power & Energy