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Rotating-Disk-Based Direct-Current Triboelectric Nanogenerator



An innovative design is reported of a direct-current triboelectric nanogenerator (DC-TENG) based on a rotating disk design for harvesting rotational mechanical energy. The DC-TENG consists of two disks and two pairs of flexible electric brushes that are made of carbon fiber and contact two electrodes, respectively. During the rotation, two disks have distinct triboelectric polarities for a cyclic in-plane charge separation between them and an alternating current is generated between the two electrodes. Because of the sliding contact and automatically switch between the electric brushes and the two electrodes, the current is reversed in the second half of the cycle and a direct current is generated. The role that the rotating speed and the segmentation number have is thoroughly investigated and shows that there is direct current enhancement not only at higher speed but also with more segments. The DC-TENG has been demonstrated as a constant current source for directly and continuously driving electronic devices and/or charging an energy storage unit without a rectifier bridge. This work presents a novel DC-TENG technology and opens up more potential applications for harvesting rotational mechanical energy and powering electronics.