3D-printed polymer composite devices based on a ferroelectric chiral ammonium salt for high-performance piezoelectric energy harvesting

Supriya Sahoo, Premkumar Anil Kothavade, Dipti Naphade, Arun Torris, Balu Praveenkumar, Jan K Zaręba, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Kadhiravan Shanmuganathan, Ramamoorthy Boomishankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is an emerging technology to fabricate complex architectures, necessary to realize state-of-the-art flexible and wearable electronic devices. In this regard, top-performing devices containing organic ferro- and piezoelectric compounds are desired to circumvent significant shortcomings of conventional piezoceramics, e.g. toxicity and high-temperature device processibility. Herein, we report on a 3D-printed composite of a chiral ferroelectric organic salt {[Me3CCH(Me)NH3][BF4]} (1) with a biodegradable polycaprolactone (PCL) polymer that serves as a highly efficient piezoelectric nanogenerator (PENG). The ferroelectric property of 1 originates from its polar tetragonal space group P42, verified by P–E loop measurements. The ferroelectric domain characteristics of 1 were further probed by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), which gave characteristic ‘butterfly’ and hysteresis loops. The PFM amplitude vs. drive voltage measurements gave a relatively high magnitude of the converse piezoelectric coefficient for 1. PCL polymer composites with various weight percentages (wt%) of 1 were prepared and subjected to piezoelectric energy harvesting tests, which gave a maximum open-circuit voltage of 36.2 V and a power density of 48.1 μW cm−2 for the 10 wt% 1-PCL champion device. Furthermore, a gyroid-shaped 3D-printed 10 wt% 1-PCL composite was fabricated to test its practical utility, which gave an excellent output voltage of 41 V and a power density of 56.8 μW cm−2. These studies promise the potential of simple organic compounds for building PENG devices using advanced manufacturing technologies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMaterials Horizons
StatePublished - May 16 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-29
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by SERB, India via Grant No. CRG/2019/004615 (R.B.) and IISER-Pune. R. B. thanks SERB, India for the Science and Technology Award for Research (STAR) via Grant No. STR/2021/000016. S. S. thanks the UGC, India for the fellowship. P. K. thanks CSIR, India for the fellowship. The 3D printing work was supported by the Center of Excellence on Additive Manufacturing at CSIR-NCL, jointly funded by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). T. D. A. and D. R. N. are grateful to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and KAUST Solar Centre (KSC) for the financial support. J. K. Z. acknowledges support from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology and Academia Iuvenum. We thank Prof. Ramanathan Vaidhyanathan for relative humidity experiments. We thank Prashant Dixit and Anirudh S for the d33 measurements.


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