Triboelectricity Generation from Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Arrays

We explore the use of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) arrays as an electrode in a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that harvests mechanical energy and converts it to electrical energy. When VACNT arrays 1 cm2 in area are mechanically contacted with PET and PTFE counter electrodes in vertical contact–separation mode, currents up to 0.16 and 0.21 μA and voltages up to 1.42 and 3.20 V are obtained, respectively. The VACNT TENG output remains stable even after more than 20 000 continuous contact cycles. A 0.47 μF capacitor is successfully charged to 4.5 V in 60 s using a VACNT-PTFE triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) prototype.