Smart textile triboelectric nanogenerators: Current status and perspectives


Textile triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is a kind of smart textile technology that integrates traditional flexible and wearable textile materials with emerging and advanced TENG science, which not only embraces the capabilities of autonomous energy harvesting and active self-powered sensing, but also maintains original wearability and desired comfortability. With the help of the burden-free and self-sufficient wearable intelligent system, individuals can achieve convenient acquisition and efficient utilization of electric energy, which will help to promote the future development of human-oriented on-body electronics and artificial intelligence. Here, some fundamental knowledge and core elements, including the operational modes and corresponding service occasions, charge generation and transfer mechanisms, remaining challenges and potential solutions are comprehensively summarized and systematically discussed. Based on these analyses, a roadmap toward the scientific research and large-scale commercial application of textile TENGs in the next decade is highlighted at the end of the article. We believe that textile TENGs will become an indispensable part of daily clothing in the future, thus benefiting all humankind and human civilization.

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© 2015 American Chemical Society. (ii) 2D in-plane sliding fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 32. © 2016 Wiley. (iii) 3D orthogonal woven TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 33. © 2017 Wiley. (iv) 3D braided TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 34. © 2020 Nature Publishing Group. (b) Expanding self-powered sensing application scopes. (i) Pulse monitoring fiber TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 35. © 2014 American Chemical Society. (ii) Golf scoring fiber TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 36. © 2018 Wiley. (iii) Physiological monitoring fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 37. © 2020 AAAS. (iv) Identity recognition fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 38. © 2020 Nature Publishing Group. (c) Achieving better wearability and more functionalities. (i) Machine washable fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 39. © 2016 Wiley. (ii) Light-emitting fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 41. © 2019 American Chemical Society. (iii) Biodegradable and antibacterial nanofiber TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 42. © 2020 AAAS. (iv) Flame-retardant fabric TENG. Reprinted with permission from Reference 43. © 2020 American Chemical Society. (d) Integrating energy harvesting with energy storage. (i) 2D self-charging power woven fabric. Reprinted with permission from Reference 44. © 2015 Wiley. (ii) Self-charging fiber unit with various energy harvesting forms. Reprinted with permission from Reference 45. © 2016 AAAS. (iii) Self-charging knitting power fabric. Reprinted with permission from Reference 46. © 2017 American Chemical Society. (iv) 2D coplanar self-charging fabric. Reprinted with permission from Reference 47. © 2020 American Chemical Society. (e) Matching high performance with mature production. (i) 3D spacer knitting technique. Reprinted with permission from Reference 48. © 2016 Elsevier. (ii) Melt-spinning method. Reprinted with permission from Reference 49. © 2019 Nature Publishing Group. (iii) Electrospinning technique. Reprinted with permission from Reference 50. © 2020 American Chemical Society. (iv) Thermal drawing technology. Reprinted with permission from Reference 52. © 2020 Nature Publishing Group.

Figure 5

© 2017 Wiley. Reprinted with permission from Reference 68. © 2020 Nature Publishing Group. Reprinted with permission from Reference 69. © 2019 American Chemical Society. Reprinted with permission from Reference 45. © 2016 AAAS. Reprinted with permission from Reference 70. © 2020 Elsevier.


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The authors are grateful for the support received from the National Key R&D Project from Minister of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2016YFA0202704), the Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 2212052), the Shanghai Sailing Program (Grant No. 19S28101), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 19D128102).

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Dong, K., Hu, Y., Yang, J. et al. Smart textile triboelectric nanogenerators: Current status and perspectives. MRS Bulletin (2021).

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  • Electronic material (4.01.21)
  • Energy generation (4.01.23)
  • Sensor (4.01.65)
  • Fiber (4.02.11)
  • Artificial intelligence (4.03.01)