Triboelectric generation

Triboelectricity is a commonly observed phenomenon in day-to-day life, it occurs when two surfaces contact or rub against each other to generate static charge, a classic example being rubbing a balloon and sticking it to the wall.

Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs) utilise the generation of static charge to effectively convert mechanical energy in to electrical energy. These devices have exhibited the potential to generate high power outputs at high efficiency and low cost. TENGs have been successfully demonstrated as a suitable option for applications in energy harvesting as well as self-powered sensors, paving the way for smart textiles.

The NEC group at the ATI is investigating the fundamental sciences of TENGs as well as their potential applications. By employing custom built sub-micron precise automated motion control systems, and ultra-sensitive electrical characterisation units, we are performing high precision characterisations of these devices, allow us to further develop the necessary material advances required to meet the current consumer demands.

Some of our focus areas include:

  • Theoretical study of the working principle of TENGs
  • Characterization of the fundamental behaviour of different modes of TENG structures
  • Enhancing of the power output of TENGs using nanomaterial-based modifications
  • High efficient textile-based TENGs for wearable electronics
  • Electrospun nanofibre TENGs

Listen to Mr Ishara Dharmasena, PhD student leading the research on this project, talk about the work on BBC Surrey Drive in July 2017:  Ishara BBC Surrey 20 July 2017 5pm37.mp3

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Nanoelectronics Centre
Advanced Technology Institute
University of Surrey