Investigation of Position Sensing and Energy Harvesting of a Flexible Triboelectric Touch Pad

Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a promising technology because it can harvest
energy from the environment to enable self-sustainable mobile and wearable electronic

In this work, we present a flexible touch pad capable of detecting the contact location of
an object and generating substantial energy simultaneously based on the coupling of
triboelectric effects and electrostatic induction. The touch pad consists of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thin film, multiple Aluminum (Al) electrodes and
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layers, which can be achieved through low cost,
simplified and scalable fabrication process. Different from the conventional
multi-pixel-based positioning sensor (i.e., large array of sensing elements and electrodes),
the analogue method proposed here is used to implement the positioning function with only four electrodes. Position location can achieve a detecting resolution of as small as 1.3 mm
(the size of locating layer is 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm). For the energy harvesting part, a multilayer structure is designed to provide higher current output. The open circuit voltage
of the device is around 420 V and the short circuit current can reach up to 6.26 uA with
current density of 0.25 uA/cm2. The maximum output power obtained is approximately
10 mW, which is 0.4 mW/cm2. The flexibility and significantly reduced number of electrodes
enable the proposed touch pad to be readily integrated into portable electronic devices,
such as intelligent robots, laptops, healthcare devices, and environmental surveys, etc.

Researcher / Author:  Tao Chen, Qiongfeng Shi, Kunpu Li, Zhan Yang, Huicong Liu,
Lining Sun,
Jan A Dziuban and Chengkuo Lee .
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(7), 503;

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