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Issue 8, 2017
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Triboelectric nanogenerators: providing a fundamental framework

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A new model which comprehensively explains the working principles of contact-mode triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) based on Maxwell's equations is presented. Unlike previous models which are restricted to known simple geometries and derived using the parallel plate capacitor model, this model is generic and can be modified to a wide range of geometries and surface topographies. We introduce the concept of a distance-dependent electric field, a factor not taken into account in previous models, to calculate the current, voltage, charge, and power output under different experimental conditions. The versatility of the model is demonstrated for non-planar geometry consisting of a convex–concave surface. The theoretical results show excellent agreement with experimental TENGs. Our model provides a complete understanding of the working principles of TENGs, and accurately predicts the output trends, which enables the design of more efficient TENG structures.

Graphical abstract: Triboelectric nanogenerators: providing a fundamental framework

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Article information

26 Apr 2017
03 Jul 2017
First published
13 Jul 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017,10, 1801-1811
Article type

Triboelectric nanogenerators: providing a fundamental framework

R. D. I. G. Dharmasena, K. D. G. I. Jayawardena, C. A. Mills, J. H. B. Deane, J. V. Anguita, R. A. Dorey and S. R. P. Silva, Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, 10, 1801
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01139C

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