Based on the environmentally sustainable development of renewable energy, Clemson researchers are keen to identify a planet that is rich in earth, biodegradable and recyclable. The friction or piezoelectric properties of the material are determined by the crystallographic symmetry of the material, and the material properties disappear when the lattice has a center of symmetry. However, based on previous research by Japanese researchers, the Clemson team showed that they can eliminate the symmetry center of biopolymers by adding polarized molecules to asymmetric carbon atoms in their chemical structures.
The ideal material that the researchers expect is source plants and biodegradable, and contains two asymmetric carbon atoms. Polylactic acid has such a characteristic. However, for the application of TENG devices, the PLA resistance is too high, so the researchers used graphene as a filler to produce nanocomposites to combine with the highly negative polymer Teflon in 3D printed wireless TENG.
Wireless generator outlook
3D printing allows inexpensive scalable manufacturing with different patterns for efficiency gains, and has multiple wireless generator layers in series with wireless generator devices. It also creates opportunities for future integration of device manufacturing with the automotive, textile and electronics industries.
An exciting application for the device is an intelligent path that can take people to walk to provide mechanical energy. Energy cleanup corridors may sound like science fiction, but researchers have patented technology and envision working closely with industry partners to bring it to market in the next two to three years.
Researchers are currently developing a two-dimensional sheet-like material that "beyond graphene" to expand other potential uses of W-TENG, including low-power lasers, photodetectors, and biosensors without power outlet requirements. Researchers describe this "cutting rope" approach as "improving the need for health care in low- and middle-income countries without reliable power."
Researchers are now developing two-dimensional sheet-like materials that are more environmentally friendly than "graphene" to replace Teflon with high conductivity. Future work directions include the “fingerprint”-sensitive W-TENG for specific users developed for home security applications. Among them, collaborators SaiSunilKumarMallineni and HerbertBehlow focused on the development of W-TENG biosensors, while Dong Yongchang and ApparaoRao and RamakrishnaPodila are developing new materials to replace Teflon.