Fall 2010 IAB
September 15 to 17

Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Tech


Nanogenerators for Harvesting Sonic Wave and Biomechanical Energy

Developing novel technologies for wireless nanodevices and nanosystems are of critical importance for sensing, medical science, defense technology and even personal electronics. It is highly desired for wireless devices and even required for implanted biomedical devices to be self-powered without using battery. Therefore, it is essential to explore innovative nanotechnologies for converting mechanical energy (such as body movement, muscle stretching), vibration energy (such as acoustic/ultrasonic wave), and hydraulic energy (such as body fluid and blood flow) into electric energy that will be used to power nanodevices without using battery. We have demonstrated novel approaches for converting nano-scale mechanical energy into electric energy by piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowire (NW) arrays. The operation mechanism of the electric generator relies on the unique coupling of piezoelectric and semiconducting dual properties of ZnO as well as the elegant rectifying function of the Schottky barrier formed between the metal tip and the NW. Based on this mechanism, we have developed DC nanogenerator driven by ultrasonic wave, fiber nanogenerator driven by tiny mechanical movement, and muscle driven nanogenerator for energy harvesting. Finally, a new field on nano-piezotronics is introduced, which uses piezoelectric-semiconducting coupled property for fabricating novel and unique electronic devices and components.

[1] Z.L. Wang “Self-powering nanotech”, Scientific American, 298 (2008) 82-87.
[2] Z.L. Wang and J.H. Song “Piezoelectric Nanogenerators Based on Zinc Oxide Nanowire Arrays”, Science, 312 (2006) 242-246.
[3] X.D. Wang, J.H. Song J. Liu, and Z.L. Wang “Direct current nanogenerator driven by ultrasonic wave”, Science, 316 (2007) 102-105.
[4] Yong Qin, Xudong Wang and Zhong Lin Wang ”Microfiber-Nanowire Hybrid Structure for Energy Scavenging”, Nature, 451 (2008) 809-813.
[5] R.S. Yang, Y. Qin, L.M. Dai and Zhong Lin Wang * “Flexible charge-pump for power generation using laterally packaged piezoelectric-wires”, Nature Nanotechnology, 4 (2009) 34-39.
[6] Top 10 future technologies by New Scientists: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126921.800-ten-scifi-devices-that-could-soon-be-in-your-hands.html?full=true
[7] Research supported by DARPA, BES DOE, NSF, NASA and Emory-Georgia Tech CCNE from NIH.