Flexible piezoelectric energy harvesters have the potential to be used as power sources for wearable electronics. This study presents a simple printing-based fabrication process for a flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting module with an integrated and optimized SMD-based full-wave diode bridge rectifier. We investigate the effect of the electrode configuration on the energy harvesting performance of the piezoelectric elements. Two types of piezoelectric elements are fabricated (a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structure and an interdigitated electrode (IDE) structure) for comparison. The electrodes are inkjet printed using poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and the piezoelectric layer is bar coated using poly(vinylidene-fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE). The results show that a higher output power density can be obtained with the MIM-based energy harvester (7.8 μW/cm3) when compared to the IDE-based harvester (20.8 nW/cm3). Simulation results show that this is explained by the higher current output (i.e., charge generation ability) of the MIM-based structure.
Block diagram of a piezoelectric energy-harvester system showing its typical components.
Illustration of the fabrication of a piezoelectric energy harvester with the rectifier circuit integrated for (a) IDE and (b) MIM structures.
Schematic of the poling orientation of the (a) IDE and (b) MIM devices in a cross sectional view. G represents the gap between electrodes.
Photograph of the printed IDE structures. (a) One-layer IDE. (b) Ten-layer IDE.
P –E hysteresis loop. (a) MIM-based piezoelectric harvester. (b) IDE-based piezoelectric harvester (one- and ten-layer IDE structures). Error bars in the P –E loops show the minimum and maximum measured values.
Peak output power density of the MIM- and IDE-based elements.
(a) Photograph of one of the fabricated MIM-based piezoelectric energy-harvester modules. (b) Equivalent circuit of the module used for simulations. (c) Experimental and simulation results of a capacitor charging using an MIM-based piezoelectric nanogenerator for 0.05 μF (Rleakage=18GΩ ), 0.1 μF (Rleakage=15GΩ ), and 1 μF (Rleakage=200GΩ ). (d) Experimental and simulation results of a capacitor charging using IDE-based piezoelectric nanogenerators for 0.05 μF .
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