Fully Biodegradable Water Droplet Energy Harvester Based on Leaves of Living Plants

Hao Wu, Zefeng Chen, Guoqiang Xu, Jianbin Xu, Zuankai Wang, Yunlong Zi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have obtained soaring interest due to their capability for environmental energy harvesting. However, as a harvester for green energy, the frequent adoption of the hardly degradable plastic films is not desirable. Here, we report a fully biodegradable TENG (FBD-TENG) that all elements are made from natural substances, and the utilization of plastic materials is avoided. The leaf cuticle and the inside conductive tissue are utilized as the tribo-material and electrode for one part in the FBD-TENG, and water droplets are employed as the counterpart. By using water droplets to bridge the originally disconnected components into a closed-loop electrical system, we successfully collect energy from the droplet impact onto a plant leaf. The electricity generation phenomenon and the working mechanism of the FBD-TENG have been investigated. Five kinds of plants, as well as rain water droplets, are employed to demonstrate the wide availability of the proposed approach. This study provides a strategy to utilize the pervasively presented electrostatic charges in nature in an eco-friendly way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56060-56067
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • biodegradable triboelectric nanogenerator
  • electronic plants
  • plant leaves
  • triboelectric nanogenerator
  • water droplet energy harvester

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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