Breathable and flexible piezoelectric ZnO@PVDF fibrous nanogenerator for wearable applications

M. Kim, Y.S. Wu, E.C. Kan, Jintu Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 by the authors. A novel breathable piezoelectric membrane has been developed by growing zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods on the surface of electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) nanofibers using a low-temperature hydrothermal method. Significant improvement in the piezoelectric response of the PVDF membrane was achieved without compromising breathability and flexibility. PVDF is one of the most frequently used piezoelectric polymers due to its high durability and reasonable piezoelectric coefficient values. However, further enhancement of its piezoelectric response is highly desirable for sensor and energy-harvester applications. Previous studies have demonstrated that piezoelectric ceramic and polymer composites can have remarkable piezoelectric properties and flexibility. However, devices made of such composites lack breathability and some present health risks in wearable applications for containing heavy metals. Unlike other piezoelectric ceramics, ZnO is non-toxic material and has been widely used in many applications including cosmetics. The fabrication of ZnO@PVDF porous electrospun membrane involves a simple low-temperature ZnO growth in aqueous solution, which does not weaken the polarization of PVDF created during electrospinning in the high electric field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number745
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Breathable
  • Electrospin
  • Fiber
  • Hydrothermal growth
  • Nano
  • Nanogenerator
  • Piezoelectric
  • PVDF
  • Wearable
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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