Vertically aligned BaTiO3 nanowire arrays for energy harvesting†
Nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) developed using piezoelectric nanowires (NWs) have gained immense interest in energy harvesting applications as they are able to convert several different forms of mechanical energy sources into electric power and thereby function as reliable power sources for ultra-low power wireless electronics. In this work, a piezoelectric NEMS vibrational energy harvester is fabricated through the development of a synthesis process for vertically aligned barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanowire (NW) arrays directly on a conductive substrate. These poled ferroelectric NW arrays are characterized through direct vibration excitation and demonstrated to provide efficient harvesting of mechanical vibrational energy producing an average power density of ∼6.27 μW cm−3 from 1g acceleration. In order to substantiate the superior energy harvesting performance of the newly developed BaTiO3 NW arrays, a direct comparison is made with conventional ZnO NW arrays. Here, we clearly report that the ferroelectric BaTiO3 NW NEMS energy harvester has ∼16 times greater power density than the ZnO NW NEMS energy harvester from the same acceleration input.