Triboelectric effect based instantaneous self-powered wireless sensing with self-determined identity
Authors: Jinkai Chen, Weipeng Xuan, Pengfei Zhao, Umar Farooq, Peng Ding, Wuliang Yin, Hao Jin, Xiaozhi Wang, Yongqing Fu, Shurong Dong, Jikui Luo
Journal: Nano Energy
Publication Date: 15 June, 2018
Department of: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Sensing without power
Sensors are the foundation of the Internet of Things (IOT), intelligent systems and smart manufacturing, but all sensors require some form of power to operate. Researchers at the University of Manchester with their collaborators in the UK and China have proposed a novel instantaneous self-powered self-identifiable wireless sensor based on the triboelectric effect, which can potentially meet the huge demand for truly self-powered wireless sensing devices and networks. The device consists of a microswitch-controlled triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), in parallel with a capacitor/inductor to form an oscillating circuit, whose resonant frequency contains both sensing and device identity information – in addition, this information can be transmitted wirelessly to a remote receiver. The device integrates the multiple functions of energy harvesting, sensing, identity generation and wireless signal transmission, and is a standalone device, responding to mechanical triggers. It eliminates the requirement for some of the electrical components necessary for traditional wireless sensing and communication devices, such as a rectification circuit, an energy storage unit, a microprocessor, and a wireless communication integrated circuit. Thus, the device presents a new paradigm the in self-power and wireless sensing field and has great potential for widespread applications for example in security (sensing intruders), head coating and health monitoring.
- The triboelectric effect is a contact-induced electrification in which a material becomes electrically charged after it is contacted with a different material through friction. The triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is able to convert mechanical energy to electricity based on this effect. Electricity can be generated during walking, running and speaking or other mechanical movements.
- The self-identification function of the proposed system is based on the unique frequency of an inductor-capacitor (LC) resonant circuit formed with the TENG.
- The sensing system transmits identification and sensing signal in the form of light without any external power sources to a receiver up to 3 m away and hence can be used in widespread sensing applications.