Nano Research

Article Title

Energy harvesting model of moving water inside a tubular system and its application of a stick-type compact triboelectric nanogenerator


contact electrification, triboelectric nanogenerator, anodized aluminum xide, superhydrophobic tubular system, compact design


As the first invention to efficiently harvest electricity from ambient mechanical energy by using contact electrification, the triboelectric nanogenerator has elicited worldwide attention because of its cost-effectiveness and sustainability. This study exploits a superhydrophobic nanostructured aluminum tubeto estimate electrical output for solid–water contact electrification inside a tubular system. The linearly proportional relationship of short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage to the detaching speed of water was determined by using a theoretical energy harvesting model and experimentation. A pioneering stick-type solid–water interacting triboelectric nanogenerator, called a SWING stick, was developed to harvest mechanical energy through solid–water contact electrification generated when the device is shaken by hand. The electrical output generated by various kinds of water from the environment was also measured to demonstrate the concept of the SWING stick as a compact triboelectric nanogenerator. Several SWING sticks were connected to show the feasibility of the device as a portable and compact source of direct power. The developed energy harvesting model and the SWING stick can provide a guideline for the design parameters to attain a desired electrical output; therefore, this study can significantly increase the applicability of a water-driven triboelectric nanogenerator.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press