Breath Figure Micromolding Approach for Regulating the Microstructures of Polymeric Films for Triboelectric Nanogenerators

Jianliang Gong, Bingang Xu, Xiaoming Tao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


A triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is an innovative kind of energy harvester recently developed on the basis of organic materials for converting mechanical energy into electricity through the combined use of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction. Polymeric materials and their microstructures play key roles in the generation, accumulation, and retainment of triboelectric charges, which decisively determines the final electric performance of TENGs. Herein we report a simple and efficient breath figure (BF) micromolding approach to rapidly regulate the surface microstructures of polymeric films for the assembly of TENGs. Honeycomb porous films with adjustable pore size and dimensional architectures were first prepared by the BF technique through simply adjusting the concentration of the polymer solution. They were then used as negative molds for straightforward synthesis of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films with different microlens arrays (MLAs) and lens sizes, which were further assembled for TENGs to investigate the influence of film microstructures. All MLA-based TENGs were found to have an obviously enhanced electric performance in comparison with a flat-PDMS-film-based TENG. Specifically, up to 3 times improvement in the electric performance can be achieved by the MLA-based TENG with optimal surface microstructures over flat-PDMS-film-based TENG under the same triggering conditions. A MLA-based TENG was further successfully used to harvest the waste mechanical energy generated by different human body motions, including finger tapping, hand clapping, and walking with a frequency ranging from 0.5 to 5.5 Hz.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4988-4997
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2017


  • adjustable surface microstructures
  • breath figure molds
  • human body motion
  • mechanical energy
  • microlens arrays
  • triboelectric nanogenerators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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