Environmental effects on nanogenerators

Vu Nguyen, Ren Zhu, Rusen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


The desire for self-powered nanosystems and wearable devices has driven wide investigation of the sustainable energy source. Harvesting energy from the ambient environment with nanogenerators becomes a viable solution with the development of low-power electronics. Different devices can face dramatically different working conditions, which may seriously restrict the application of those nanogenerators. In this review article we describe the most recent progress in the study of the environmental effect on the nanogenerator. While a variety of nanogenerators have been developed using piezoelectric, triboelectric, pyroelectric and thermoelectric effects, the most studied piezoelectric nanogenerator and triboelectric nanogenerator will be discussed in more detail. This review emphasizes the important effect of the temperature, humidity, and water. The other effects, such as UV radiation or adsorption of gas or solid material, are also presented for certain nanogenerators. In the end we share our views of the future research directions and the remaining challenges in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are truly grateful for the financial support from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the College of Science and Engineering of the University of Minnesota . Research is also supported by National Science Foundation under Grant no ECCS-1150147 and 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. The device fabrication was performed in the Minnesota Nano Center, a part of NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Adsorption
  • Environmental effect
  • Humidity
  • Nanogenerator
  • Pressure
  • Temperature


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