Enhanced output power of a freestanding ball-based triboelectric generator through the electrophorus effect
The recent development of the Internet of Things and related sensor technologies has greatly impacted logistics tracking, structural health monitoring, environmental analysis, and data extraction. It is highly imperative to develop a technology to allow the sensor node to operate independently, sustainably, and in a maintenance-free way by harvesting energy from the ambient environment. Here we demonstrate a triboelectric device as a highly efficient and durable kinetic energy harvester from ubiquitous mechanical vibrations. We construct a cylinder coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and place a number of metal balls inside the cylinder. This ball-based triboelectric generator (B-TEG) converts the mechanical shaking into electricity. By grounding the metal-freestanding-layer, we form a new configuration (B-GTEG). The output power of B-GTEG shows an 8 fold improvement through the electrophorus effect compared with B-TEG, providing the potential for supplying sustainable power to wireless sensor nodes.