Triboelectrification-Enabled Self-Powered Data Storage

Shuang Yang Kuang, Guang Zhu, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Data storage by any means usually requires an electric driving power for writing or reading. A novel approach for self-powered, triboelectrification-enabled data storage (TEDS) is presented. Data are incorporated into a set of metal-based surface patterns. As a probe slides across the patterned surface, triboelectrification between the scanning probe and the patterns produces alternatively varying voltage signal in quasi-square wave. The trough and crest of the quasi-square wave signal are coded as binary bits of “0” and “1,” respectively, while the time span of the trough and the crest is associated with the number of bits. The storage of letters and sentences is demonstrated through either square-shaped or disc-shaped surface patterns. Based on experimental data and numerical calculation, the theoretically predicted maximum data storage density could reach as high as 38.2 Gbit in−2. Demonstration of real-time data retrieval is realized with the assistance of software interface. For the TEDS reported in this work, the measured voltage signal is self-generated as a result of triboelectrification without the reliance on an external power source. This feature brings about not only low power consumption but also a much more simplified structure. Therefore, this work paves a new path to a unique approach of high-density data storage that may have widespread applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700658
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • computer science
  • data storage
  • nanoenergy
  • nanogenerators
  • triboelectrification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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