Concurrent Harvesting of Ambient Energy by Hybrid Nanogenerators for Wearable Self-Powered Systems and Active Remote Sensing


Harvesting energy available from ambient environment is highly desirable for powering personal electronics and health applications. Due to natural process and human activities, steam can be produced by boilers, human perspiration, and the wind exists ubiquitously. In the outdoor environment, these two phenomena usually exist at the same place, which contain heat and mechanical energies simultaneously. However, previous studies have isolated them as separate sources of energy to harvest and hence failed to utilize them effectively. Herein, we present unique hybrid nanogenerators for individually/simultaneously harvesting thermal energy from water vapors and mechanical energy from intermittent wind blowing from the bottom side, which consist of a wind-driven triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) and pyroelectric piezoelectric nanogenerators (PPENGs). The output power of the PPENG and the TENG can be up to about 184.32 mu W and 4.74 mW, respectively, indicating the TENG plays the dominant role. Our hybrid nanogenerators could provide different applications such as to power digital watch and enable self-powered sensing with wireless transmission. The device could also be further integrated into a face mask for potentially wearable applications. This work not only provides a promising approach for renewable energy harvesting but also enriches potential applications for self -powered systems and wireless sensors.