Piezoelectric Nylon-11 Nanowire Arrays Grown by Template Wetting for Vibrational Energy Harvesting Applications

Anuja Datta, Yeon Sik Choi, Evie Chalmers, Canlin Ou, Sohini Kar-Narayan

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86 Citations (Scopus)


Piezoelectric polymers, capable of converting mechanical vibrations into electrical energy, are attractive for use in vibrational energy harvesting due to their flexibility, robustness, ease, and low cost of fabrication. In particular, piezoelectric polymers nanostructures have been found to exhibit higher crystallinity, higher piezoelectric coefficients, and “self-poling,” as compared to films or bulk. The research in this area has been mainly dominated by polyvinylidene fluoride and its copolymers, which while promising have a limited temperature range of operation due to their low Curie and/or melting temperatures. Here, the authors report the fabrication and properties of vertically aligned and “self-poled” piezoelectric Nylon-11 nanowires with a melting temperature of ≈200 °C, grown by a facile and scalable capillary wetting technique. It is shown that a simple nanogenerator comprising as-grown Nylon-11 nanowires, embedded in an anodized aluminium oxide (AAO) template, can produce an open-circuit voltage of 1 V and short-circuit current of 100 nA, when subjected to small-amplitude, low-frequency vibrations. Importantly, the resulting nanogenerator is shown to exhibit excellent fatigue performance and high temperature stability. The work thus offers the possibility of exploiting a previously unexplored low-cost piezoelectric polymer for nanowire-based energy harvesting, particularly at temperatures well above room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1604262
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by a grant from the European Research Council through a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant (Grant no. ERC-2014-STG-639526, NANOGEN). S.K.-N., Y.C., C.O., and A.D. are grateful for financial support from this same grant. A.D., Y.C., and E.C. fabricated the samples and A.D., Y.C., E.C., and C.O. performed the measurements reported. A.D. and S.K.-N. designed and guided the experimental work. A.D., Y.C., and S.K.-N. cowrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the paper. Supporting data for this paper is available at the DSpace@Cambridge data repository (https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/260778). Reference was updated on January 12, 2017, following initial online publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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