Harvesting energy from the natural vibration of human walking

Weiqing Yang, Jun Chen, Guang Zhu, Jin Yang, Peng Bai, Yuanjie Su, Qingsheng Jing, Xia Cao, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

443 Citations (Scopus)


The triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), a unique technology for harvesting ambient mechanical energy based on the triboelectric effect, has been proven to be a cost-effective, simple, and robust approach for self-powered systems. However, a general challenge is that the output current is usually low. Here, we demonstrated a rationally designed TENG with integrated rhombic gridding, which greatly improved the total current output owing to the structurally multiplied unit cells connected in parallel. With the hybridization of both the contact-separation mode and sliding electrification mode among nanowire arrays and nanopores fabricated onto the surfaces of two contact plates, the newly designed TENG produces an open-circuit voltage up to 428 V, and a short-circuit current of 1.395 mA with the peak power density of 30.7 W/m2. Relying on the TENG, a self-powered backpack was developed with a vibration-to-electric energy conversion efficiency up to 10.62(±1.19) %. And it was also demonstrated as a direct power source for instantaneously lighting 40 commercial light-emitting diodes by harvesting the vibration energy from natural human walking. The newly designed TENG can be a mobile power source for field engineers, explorers, and disaster-relief workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11317-11324
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • human walking
  • rhombic gridding structure
  • self-powered backpack
  • triboelectric nanogenerator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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