American Chemical Society
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Multiple Sensors Driven by a Single ZnO Nanowire

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-26, 18:40 authored by Mei Liu, Mengfan He, Lingdi Kong, Aristide Djoulde, Xinyue Liu, Weilin Su, Pengfei Zhao, Xin Bai, Jinbo Chen, Jinjun Rao, Zhiming Wang
Existing self-powered generators with substantial volume can generate tens of V using triboelectric, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric effects. However, there is a growing need for more robust, cost-effective, smaller-sized, and easier-to-produce generators for onboard and distributed sensor applications. In this article, we introduce for the first time a minute renewable energy source based on a single zinc oxide nanowire (ZnONW) to power multiple common bulk sensors. A nanomanipulator within a scanning electron microscope (SEM) was utilized to manipulate and provide mechanical energy by deforming a single suspended ZnONW under specific scenarios. Piezoelectric properties of the ZnONW, including the effects of deformation magnitude and bending frequency, were investigated. A voltage output of up to 22.3 mV was obtained and was used to power external sensing elements practically for the first time, with the sensing signal measured using the voltage-division principle. 0–180° bending angle of a flexible strain gauge (sensitivity: −1.07 mV/rad), 30–90 °C temperature, and light on/off were successfully tested. Simulations were conducted to evaluate the influence of the mass block on the first resonant frequency of the nanogenerator and to enhance power generation performance. Our work offers a fresh method for studying the piezoelectric properties of a single ZnONW-based nanogenerator and demonstrates its potential for self-powered microdevices in various real-time, flexible, and portable sensing applications.