Hierarchical Honeycomb-structured Electret/Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Biomechanical and Morphing Wing Energy Harvesting

Kai Tao, Zhensheng Chen, Haiping Yi, Ruirong Zhang, Qiang Shen, Jin Wu, Lihua Tang, Kangqi Fan, Richard Fu, Jianmin Miao*, Weizheng Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Flexible, compact, lightweight and sustainable power sources are indispensable for modern wearable and personal electronics and small-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Hierarchical honeycomb has the unique merits of compact mesostructures, excellent energy absorption properties and considerable weight to strength ratios. Herein, a honeycomb-inspired triboelectric nanogenerator (h-TENG) is proposed for biomechanical and UAV morphing wing energy harvesting based on contact triboelectrification wavy surface of cellular honeycomb structure. The wavy surface comprises a multilayered thin film structure (combining polyethylene terephthalate, silver nanowires and fluorinated ethylene propylene) fabricated through high-temperature thermoplastic molding and wafer-level bonding process. With superior synchronization of large amounts of energy generation units with honeycomb cells, the manufactured h-TENG prototype produces the maximum instantaneous open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current and output power of 1207 V, 68.5 μA and 12.4 mW, respectively, corresponding to a remarkable peak power density of 0.275 mW/cm3 (or 2.48 mW/g) under hand-pressing excitations. Attributed to the excellent elastic property of self-rebounding honeycomb structure, the flexible and transparent h-TENG can be easily pressed, bent, and integrated into shoes for real-time insole plantar pressure mapping. The lightweight and compact h-TENG is further installed into a morphing wing of small UAVs for efficiently converting the flapping energy of ailerons into electricity for the first time. This research demonstrates this new conceptualizing single h-TENG device's versatility and viability for broad-range real-world application scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNano-Micro Letters
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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