Vertically aligned zinc oxide nanowires electrodeposited within porous polycarbonate templates for vibrational energy harvesting
Whiter, Richard A
Institute of Physics
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Boughey, C., Davies, T., Datta, A., Whiter, R. A., Sahonta, L., & Kar-Narayan, S. (2016). Vertically aligned zinc oxide nanowires electrodeposited within porous polycarbonate templates for vibrational energy harvesting. Nanotechnology https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/27/28/28LT02
A piezoelectric nanogenerator has been fabricated using a simple, fast and scalable template assisted electrodeposition process, by which vertically aligned zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires were directly grown within a nanoporous polycarbonate (PC) template. The nanowires, having average diameter 184 nm and length 12 μm, are polycrystalline and have a preferred orientation of the  axis parallel to the long axis. The output power density of a nanogenerator fabricated from the as–grown ZnO nanowires still embedded within the PC template was found to be 151 ± 25 mW m^-3 at an impedance–matched load, when subjected to a low–level periodic (5 Hz) impacting force akin to gentle finger tapping. An energy conversion efficiency of ~ 4.2 % was evaluated for the electrodeposited ZnO nanowires, and the ZnO–PC composite nanogenerator was found to maintain good energy harvesting performance through 24 hours of continuous fatigue testing. This is particularly significant given that ZnO–based nanostructures typically suffer from mechanical and/or environmental degradation that otherwise limits their applicability in vibrational energy harvesting. Our template assisted synthesis of ZnO nanowires embedded within a protective polymer matrix through a single growth process is thus attractive for the fabrication of low–cost, robust and stable nanogenerators.
This work was financially supported by a grant from the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant (Grant no. ERC–2014–STG–639526, NANOGEN). S.K–N., R.A.W and A.D. are grateful for financial support from this same grant. F.L.B and R.A.W thank the EPSRC Cambridge NanoDTC, EP/G037221/1, for studentship funding.
European Commission (639526)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (702868)
Royal Society (dh110046)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/27/28/28LT02
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/256033