Mechanical Energy Harvesting Performance of Ferroelectric Polymer Nanowires Grown via Template-Wetting.

Whiter, Richard A 
Kar-Narayan, Sohini  ORCID logo

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Nanowires of the ferroelectric co-polymer poly(vinylidenefluoride-co-triufloroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] are fabricated from solution within nanoporous templates of both "hard" anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) and "soft" polyimide (PI) through a facile and scalable template-wetting process. The confined geometry afforded by the pores of the templates leads directly to highly crystalline P(VDF-TrFE) nanowires in a macroscopic "poled" state that precludes the need for external electrical poling procedure typically required for piezoelectric performance. The energy-harvesting performance of nanogenerators based on these template-grown nanowires are extensively studied and analyzed in combination with finite element modelling. Both experimental results and computational models probing the role of the templates in determining overall nanogenerator performance, including both materials and device efficiencies, are presented. It is found that although P(VDF-TrFE) nanowires grown in PI templates exhibit a lower material efficiency due to lower crystallinity as compared to nanowires grown in AAO templates, the overall device efficiency was higher for the PI-template-based nanogenerator because of the lower stiffness of the PI template as compared to the AAO template. This work provides a clear framework to assess the energy conversion efficiency of template-grown piezoelectric nanowires and paves the way towards optimization of template-based nanogenerator devices.

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ferroelectric polymers, finite element modelling, nanogenerators, nanowires, template wetting
Journal Title
Energy Technol (Weinh)
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European Research Council (639526)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/G037221/1)