Biodegradable Nanogenerators Lead to Less Electronic Waste
ECE Professor Ravinder Dahiya’s research on “Aligned PLLA electrospun fibres based biodegradable triboelectric nanogenerator” was published in Nano Energy.
Transient triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) fabricated with degradable materials is an emerging area which can tackle the global issue of electronic waste. Here, we report a fully biodegradable TENG comprising of aligned PLLA (aPLLA) fibres and chitosan as the active layers. The aPLLA and random PLLA (rPLLA) fibers are compared for the performance and the aPLLA fibre based TENG (aPL-TENG) is found to exhibit superior performance (output voltage and current of 45 V and 9 μA, respectively) due to better 103 helix chain conformation. The performance of aPLLA fibres was also analysed with different interface combinations. The aPL-TENG showed excellent mechanical stability for 24000 cycles and produced an output power density of 6.5 mWm−2. The soil burial test confirms the degradation of the materials used in the device fabrication. Finally, as a proof-of-concept, the output of aPL-TENG was fed to a capacitor to demonstrate it capability to continuously power the commercial wrist and stop watch. Considering the facile fabrication and easily available sustainable materials used for the aPL-TENG, the presented approach can provide attractive green energy harvesting machine to power portable devices at a large scale – without having to worry about the end-of-life electronic waste management.