An efficient polymer moist-electric generator
The depletion of fossil fuels and the corresponding environmental concerns require the development of new kinds of green energy. We herein present a new type of highly efficient electric generation by the traditional polyelectrolyte membrane of poly(4-styrensulfonic acid) (PSSA) with moisture. This polymer moist-electric generator (PMEG) with a piece of 1 cm2 PSSA membrane can offer an open-circuit-voltage of up to ∼0.8 V and a short-circuit-current density of ∼0.1 mA cm−2, which is sufficient to power up many electronic devices. Flexible power supply devices made of PSSA membranes are designed and fabricated for harvesting the energy from human breath and some other real-life conditions. The experimental demonstration and theoretical modeling reveal that the moisture-induced directional movement of protons within the PSSA membrane led to the generation of electric power. This work opens a novel perspective for the traditional polyelectrolyte membrane and offers an extremely simple method for energy conversion of practical importance.