Toward large-scale energy harvesting by a nanoparticle-enhanced triboelectric nanogenerator

Guang Zhu, Zong Hong Lin, Qingshen Jing, Peng Bai, Caofeng Pan, Ya Yang, Yusheng Zhou, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

960 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes a simple, cost-effective, and scalable approach to fabricate a triboelectric nanogenerator (NG) with ultrahigh electric output. Triggered by commonly available ambient mechanical energy such as human footfalls, a NG with size smaller than a human palm can generate maximum short-circuit current of 2 mA, delivering instantaneous power output of 1.2 W to external load. The power output corresponds to an area power density of 313 W/m2 and a volume power density of 54 268 W/m3 at an open-circuit voltage of ∼1200 V. An energy conversion efficiency of 14.9% has been achieved. The power was capable of instantaneously lighting up as many as 600 multicolor commercial LED bulbs. The record high power output for the NG is attributed to optimized structure, proper materials selection and nanoscale surface modification. This work demonstrated the practicability of using NG to harvest large-scale mechanical energy, such as footsteps, rolling wheels, wind power, and ocean waves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • large-scale
  • nanoparticle
  • ocean wave
  • Triboelectric nanogenerator
  • wind power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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