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June, 2016

A flexible and robust piezoelectric nanogenerator (NG) based on a polymer-ceramic nanocomposite structure has been successfully fabricated via a cost-effective and scalable template-assisted hydrothermal synthesis method. Vertically aligned arrays of dense and uniform zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs) with high aspect ratio (diameter ~250 nm, length ~12 μm) were grown within nanoporous polycarbonate (PC) templates. The energy conversion efficiency was found to be ~4.2%, which is comparable to previously reported values for ZnO NWs. The resulting NG is found to have excellent fatigue performance, being relatively immune to detrimental environmental factors and mechanical failure, as the constituent ZnO NWs remain embedded and protected inside the polymer matrix.

Figure: Schematic of the fabrication procedure for vertically aligned zinc oxide (ZnO) NWs grown within polycarbonate (PC) templates via hydrothermal synthesis, and the design and implementation of a flexible nanogenerator based on the ZnO-PC nanocomposite.

Canlin Ou, Pedro E. Sanchez-Jimenez, Anuja Datta, Francesca L. Boughey, Richard A. Whiter, Suman-Lata Sahonta, Sohini Kar-Narayan, "Template-Assisted Hydrothermal Growth of Aligned Zinc Oxide Nanowires for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Applications", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Article ASAP (2016)

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