A self-powered sterilization system with both instant and sustainable anti-bacterial ability

Jingjing Tian, Hongqing Feng, Ling Yan, Min Yu, Han Ouyang, Hu Li, Wen Jiang, Yiming Jin, Guang Zhu, Zhou Li, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


A self-powered and high-efficient water sterilization system was set up consisting of a wave-driven triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) and two nanobrush electrodes made of Ag-nanoparticles integrated ZnO-nanowires. The system showed both instant and sustainable sterilization efficiency for various microbes including those in natural river water. The colony forming units (CFU) were reduced from 106/mL to 0 within 0.5 min of electrical field (EF) treatment for Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, the bacteria annihilation ability was sustained for at least 20 min after withdrawing the EF. The mechanism lay in the synergetic work of electricity and the Ag/ZnO nanomaterial, which not only produced electroporation during EF treatment, but also induced sustained intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) to do additional sterilization when EF was withdrawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron storage
  • Electroporation
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Triboelectric nanogenerator
  • Water sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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