Electrospun hybrid nanofibers of poly(vinylidene fluoride) and functionalized graphene oxide as a piezoelectric energy harvester†
A flexible, lightweight and efficient nanohybrid of poly(vinylidene fluoride) and functionalized graphene oxide is prepared through an optimized electrospinning process for energy harvesting. Nanohybrids yield good quality fibers upon the incorporation of functionalized graphene oxide. The addition of nanofillers leads to a decrease in the fibre diameter arising from better interaction of the nanoparticle with the polymer matrix. An electroactive phase of ∼88% is achieved upon the addition of nanoparticles which leads to better piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting applications. The transformation of the electroactive phases from the non-piezoelectric part is confirmed through spectroscopic and thermal studies. The developed scaffold is fabricated into a nanogenerator device for electro-mechanical responses. The fabricated device from the nanohybrid of PVDF and functionalized graphene oxide produces a better electromechanical response of 62 V (peak-to-peak) and 48.3 μW cm−2 power generation using finger tapping as compared to 20 V and 23.4 μW cm−2 power generation from pristine PVDF fibres. These devices have the capability to generate a considerable amount of power from various human body movements like walking, foot tapping and bending. These devices have been used to power LEDs from various real life waste mechanical resources like opening and closing of drawers and walking over door mats.