Washable textile-structured single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator for self-powered wearable electronics†
Wearable electronics guide the next generation of traditional personal electronics. However, their conventional batteries are required to be frequently charged or replaced, greatly limiting the development of wearable electronics. Thus, a wearable power source that can in situ harvest biomechanical energy to continuously power wearable electronics is extremely desirable. In this work, we report for the first time a washable textile-structured single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator (TS-TENG) based on a nanofibrous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) polymer with high hydrophobicity. A stained TS-TENG can be easily and quickly cleaned by washing in water. The TS-TENG can be sewed on clothes, and then it can effectively convert mechanical energy to electricity by the friction with the material of clothes. When operated by swinging arms while people are walking or running, the output voltage and current of the TS-TENG obtained were 1050 V and 22 μA, respectively. This generated electric energy could directly power a night running light and a digital watch without any energy storage process. The development of this TS-TENG could provide great opportunities for developing self-powered wearable electronics due to its flexibility, breathability, washability, and capability to harvest biomechanical energy from human motions.