A paper-based nanogenerator as a power source and active sensor†
Paper-based functional electronic devices endow a new era of applications in radio-frequency identification (RFID), sensors, transistors and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). As an important component for building an all paper-based system that can work independently and sustainably, a paper-based power source is indispensable. In this study, we demonstrated a paper-based nanogenerator (pNG) that can convert tiny-scale mechanical energy into electricity. The pNG relies on an electrostatic effect, and the electrostatic charges on the paper were generated by the corona method. The instantaneous output power density of a single-layered pNG reached ∼90.6 μW cm−2 at a voltage of 110 V, and this instantaneously illuminated 70 LEDs. In addition, by sticking the pNG to a movable object, such as the page of a book, the power harvested from the mechanical action of turning the page can drive an LED, which presents its outstanding potential in building paper-based, self-powered systems and as active sensors.