Improving energy outputs from flexible piezoelectric energy harvesters

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The key research questions in this project are:

  • Development and 3D printing of flexible, energy-harvesting piezoelectric nanocomposite films.
  • Testing the films’ energy-harvesting properties and mechanical strength.
  • Demonstration of scalability of the energy harvesters.

The details

Energy is all around us, but not all is currently harvested. With an increasing emergence of always-on, portable, wearable and implantable electronic devices, it is of great importance to investigate the viability of sustainable energy harvesting technologies.

Materials which generate electricity through mechanical motion, termed piezoelectrics, offer a unique opportunity to generate energy on either an on-needs basis or be stored for later use.

A piezoelectric material of particular significance is the flexible fluoropolymer - allowing energy harvesting through the mechanical bending of the material. The limitation of this, however, is current processing techniques required to maximise the piezoelectric effect within these materials is costly and, itself, energy intensive.

Therefore, this project aims to use 3D printing to produce fluoropolymers with nanomaterials that impart different electrostatic interactions within the entire material to produce increased piezoelectricity.

Supervision team

Other joint PhD projects