The Chinese Academy Of Sciences Successfully Developed High-transparency, High-stretchability, Skin-like Nano-friction Generators

- Nov 21, 2018-

The Chinese Academy of Sciences successfully developed high-transparency, high-stretchability, skin-like nano-friction generators

In recent years, with the proliferation of various revolutionary functional products such as flexible transistors/integrated circuits, stretchable optoelectronic devices, foldable displays, and electronic skin, flexible/stretchable electronic products have developed rapidly.

These products place higher demands on their energizing equipment and are expected to have considerable flexibility and stretchability. However, few energy devices can achieve flexibility, transparency, and stretchability at the same time. In addition, the growing market of wearable electronic products and implantable electronic products requires that their energy-added devices have good biocompatibility in addition to flexibility and stretchability.

Conventional electromagnetic generators are difficult to achieve stretchability, and recently the rapidly developing friction nanogenerator (TENG) can meet the above requirements of flexible electronic equipment. Recently, the stretchable friction nanogenerators have been mainly made of conductive polymers reinforced with conductive networks such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and silver nanowires. However, such materials have limited stretchability and are difficult to achieve high transparency. In contrast, hydrogels composed of a hydrophilic polymer network and an aqueous or aqueous ionic solution can simultaneously achieve transparency, softness, biocompatibility, and stretchability, making them ideal for developing flexible friction nanogenerators.

Under the joint guidance of Academician Wang Zhonglin and Researcher Hu Weiguo of the Beijing Institute of Nano-Energy and Systems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, researchers at the Beijing Institute of Nano Energy and Systems, Pu Xiong, combined the elastomer and ion hydrogel to develop a brand new The skin-like nano-friction generator (STENG), which for the first time achieves high transparency (average light transmission, visible light 96.2%) and ultra-high stretchability (uniaxial strain, 1160%), while enabling biomechanical energy Collection, tactile perception and other functions. This work provides a new perspective for the study of transparent, stretchable energy devices and flexible electronic skin, and the results are published in the recent ScienceAdvances (DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1700015).

This STENG is capable of generating an open circuit voltage of up to 145 volts with an instantaneous power density of 35 mW/m2. STENG has a broad market prospect. Because the material is made of biocompatible hydrogel, it can directly adhere to the skin of the human body and drive many wearable electronic products such as LEDs and electronic watches. This study first proposed a STENG with ultra-high stretchability and transparency. Because of its high transparency, it does not interfere with the transmission of optical information, and at the same time combines energy harvesting and touch sensing. Therefore, in smart artificial skin, self-driven software robot, Potential applications in flexible displays and wearable electronics.

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