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Keywords:

  • nanogenerators;
  • mechanical energy harvesting;
  • piezoelectric nanocomposites;
  • piezoelectric nanowires

The integrated nanogenerator (NG) based on vertical nanowire (NW) arrays is one of the dominant designs developed to harvest mechanical energy using piezoelectric nanostructures. Finite element method (FEM) simulations of such a NG are developed using ZnO NWs in compression mode to evaluate its performances in term of piezoelectric potential generated, capacitance, induced mechanical energy, output electrical energy, and efficiency. This evaluation is essential to correctly understand NG operation. Three main issues are highlighted. The mechanical and electrical structures of the NG as an integrated system are optimized, and strategies for concentrating the mechanical strain field in the NWs and increasing the force sensitivity are developed. In addition, the influence of NWs length and diameter on NG performances is investigated. The optimization results in a piezoelectric nano composite material where global performances are improved by mean of long and thin NWs.