The growing use of wearable devices has been stimulating research efforts in the de-velopment of energy harvesters as more portable and practical energy sources alternatives. The field of piezoelectric nanogenerators (PENGs) and triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), especially employing zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs), has greatly flourished in recent years. Despite its modest piezoelectric coefficient, ZnO is very attractive due to its sustainable raw materials and the facility to obtain distinct morphologies, which increases its multifunctionality. The integration of ZnO nanostructures into polymeric matrices to overcome their fragility has already been proven to be fruitful, nevertheless, their concentration in the composite should be optimized to maximize the harvesters’ output, an aspect that has not been properly addressed. This work studies a composite with variable concentrations of ZnO nanorods (NRs), grown by microwave radiation assisted hydrothermal synthesis, and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). With a 25 wt % ZnO NRs concentration in a composite that was further micro-structured through laser engraving for output enhancement, a nanogenerator (NG) was fabricated with an output of 6 V at a pushing force of 2.3 N. The energy generated by the NG could be stored and later employed to power small electronic devices, ultimately illustrating its potential as an energy harvesting device.
- Energy harvesting
- Microwave assisted hydrothermal synthesis
- ZnO nanorods