The development of wearable and large-area fabric energy harvester and sensor has received great attention due to their promising applications in next-generation autonomous and wearable healthcare technologies. Here, a new type of “single” thread-based triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) and its uses in elastically textile-based energy harvesting and sensing have been demonstrated. The energy-harvesting thread composed by one silicone-rubber-coated stainless-steel thread can extract energy during contact with skin. With sewing the energy-harvesting thread into a serpentine shape on an elastic textile, a highly stretchable and scalable TENG textile is realized to scavenge various kinds of human-motion energy. The collected energy is capable to sustainably power a commercial smart watch. Moreover, the simplified single triboelectric thread can be applied in a wide range of thread-based self-powered and active sensing uses, including gesture sensing, human-interactive interfaces, and human physiological signal monitoring. After integration with microcontrollers, more complicated systems, such as wireless wearable keyboards and smart beds, are demonstrated. These results show that the newly designed single-thread-based TENG, with the advantage of interactive, responsive, sewable, and conformal features, can meet application needs of a vast variety of fields, ranging from wearable and stretchable energy harvesters to smart cloth-based articles.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Hightower Chair Foundation, KAUST and the “Thousands Talents” program for pioneer researcher and his innovation team, China. Y.-C.L. thanks Chao-Min Chen for her help in some experiment. Y.-C.L. thanks the funding support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. J.D. would like to express his sincere gratitude to the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the support.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.