Polymer Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Cost-Effective Green Energy Generation and Implementation of Surface-Charge Engineering

Diana Lopez, Aminur Rashid Chowdhury, Abu Musa Abdullah, Muhtasim Ul Karim Sadaf, Isaac Martinez, Brishty Deb Choudhury, Serena Danti, Christopher J. Ellison, Karen Lozano, M. Jasim Uddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Performance of triboelectric nanogenerators for harvesting mechanical energy from the ambient environment has been limited by structural complexity, cost-effectiveness, and mechanical weakness of materials. Herein, a cost-effective vertical contact separation mode triboelectric nanogenerator using polyethylene (PE) and polycarbonate (PC) in a regular digital versatile disc is reported. This cost-effective nanogenerator with simplified structures is able to generate an open-circuit voltage of 215.3 V and short-circuit current of 80 μA. The effects of the distance of impact and the air gap between the triboelectric layers have also been tested from 3 to 9 cm, and 0.25 to 1 cm, respectively. It is determined that 0.5 cm is the optimal air gap. The nanogenerator is also tested in different real-life scenarios including stresses produced by a moving car, walking, and a rolling skateboard over the nanogenerator. The surfaces of the triboelectric layers are further modified by surface-charge engineering which induced a 460% increase in the output power. These tests reveal a significant electrical response and mechanical stability under stress. In summary, this study demonstrates that the relatively inexpensive PE and PC triboelectric pair has the potential to be used for highly efficient, mechanically robust triboelectric nanogenerators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2001088
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 14 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF PREM) award under grant No. DMR‐1523577: UTRGV‐UMN Partnership for Fostering Innovation by Bridging Excellence in Research and Student Success. This project was partially supported by the Welch Foundation Award: BX‐0048.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • energy harvester
  • green energy
  • nanogenerators
  • surface-charge engineering
  • triboelectricity


Dive into the research topics of 'Polymer Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Cost-Effective Green Energy Generation and Implementation of Surface-Charge Engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this