Demand for mobile power sources is increasing with the growth of wireless sensor networks, mobile healthcare devices, and internet-of-things (IoT). Most small electronic components use a battery as the sole power source, but all batteries have a limited lifetime and require costly recharging and replacement. Mechanical energy harvesting is a technique that converts ambient mechanical energy sources, such as vibration, wind, and motion, into useful electrical energy. By introducing energy harvesters, small electronic systems can extend their lifetime, reduce maintenance costs, and enable sustainable operation. The triboelectric nanogenerator is a recently developed mechanical energy harvester that is based on triboelectricity.
Triboelectricity has been generally considered a harmful phenomenon because it often causes breakdown of electronic circuits and natural fires. However, in terms of energy harvesting, this strong power is an advantage when properly controlled and collected. In this seminar, the background and fundamental principles of the triboelectric nanogenerator will be explained. A nanostructure implementation technique based on the nature-replication method to improve output performance will also be presented. In addition, recent research progress on triboelectric nanogenerators for space missions will be introduced.
The speaker, Myeong-Lok Seol, is a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. His research interests include energy harvesting and nanotechnology-enabled electronic devices. Currently, he is developing energy harvesting devices for space missions, including a Mars-based triboelectric nanogenerator and an all-printed triboelectric nanogenerator. He received the B.S. degree in 2010 and the Ph.D. degree in 2016 from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea. He has published 55 international journal articles, has presented at 7 international conferences, and has received 8 patents.