Tunable Buckled Beams with Mesoporous PVDF-TrFE/SWCNT Composite Film for Energy Harvesting

Zhe Xu, Yin Liu, Lin Dong, Andrew B. Closson, Nanjing Hao, Meagan Oglesby, Gladys Patricia Escobar, Sidan Fu, Xiaomin Han, Chunsheng Wen, Jifeng Liu, Marc David Feldman, Zi Chen, John X.J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


By incorporating mesoporous piezoelectric materials and tuning mechanical boundary conditions a simple beam structure can significantly take advantage of limited mechanical displacements for energy harvesting. Specifically, we employed a mesoporous PVDF-TrFE composite thin film mixed with single-wall carbon nanotubes to improve the formation of the crystalline phase in this piezoelectric polymer. The film was then patterned on a thin buckled beam to form a compact energy harvester, which was used to study the effects of two boundary conditions, including the end rotation angle and the location of a mechanical stop along the beam. We carefully designed controlled experiments using mesoporous PVDF-TrFE film and PVDF-TrFE/SWCNT composite films, both of which were tested under two cases of boundary conditions, namely, the rotation of the end angle and the addition of a mechanical stop. The voltage and current of the energy harvester under these two boundary conditions were, respectively, increased by approximately 160.1% and 200.5% compared to the results of its counterpart without imposing any boundary conditions. Thereby, our study offers a promising platform for efficiently powering implantable and wearable devices for harnessing energy from the human body which would otherwise have been wasted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33516-33522
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • beam structure
  • composite material
  • energy harvesting
  • low mechanical inputs
  • piezoelectricity


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