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Comparative Study of Energy Harvesting from ZnO Nanorods Using Different Flexible Substrates
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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2014 (English)In: Energy Harvesting and Systems, ISSN 2329-8774 (print), 2329-8766 (online), Vol. 1, no 1-2, 19-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The step toward the fabrication of nanodevices with low cost and improved performance is of high demand; therefore, in the present study, different flexible substrates like common paper, textile fabric, plastic and aluminum foil have been utilized to harvest electrical energy. ZnO nanorods (NRs) were grown by using lowtemperature aqueous chemical growth method. The obtained ZnO NRs were highly dense, well aligned, uniformly distributed over the substrates and exhibited good crystal quality. The structural study was carried out by using X-ray powder diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The piezoelectric properties of ZnO NRs were investigated by the help of an atomic force microscope using contact mode. The measurements of generated piezoelectricity were around 16.2 mV, 23.2 mV, 38.5 mV and 43.3 mV for common paper, textile fabric, plastic and aluminum foil, respectively. This investigation is an important step in order to study the effect of different substrates influencing the magnitude of the output voltage under identical growth and measurement conditions. We expect that this study will help identify the most suitable flexible substrate for harvesting energy. It also offers a promising alternative powering source for the next generation nanodevices using non-conventional substrates like aluminum foil. Moreover, the use of aluminum foil as flexible and low cost substrate may pave the way to develop devices in different fields including energy harvesting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2014. Vol. 1, no 1-2, 19-26 p.
Keyword [en]
ZnO nanorods, flexible substrates, aqueous chemical growth, atomic force microscope
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108226DOI: 10.1515/ehs-2013-0025OAI: diva2:729622
Available from: 2014-06-26 Created: 2014-06-26 Last updated: 2014-10-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Synthesis, Characterization and Applications of Metal Oxide Nanostructures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synthesis, Characterization and Applications of Metal Oxide Nanostructures
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main objective of nanotechnology is to build self-powered nanosystems that are ultrasmall in size, exhibit super sensitivity, extraordinary multi functionality, and extremely low power consumption. As we all know that 21st century has brought two most important challenges for us. One is energy shortage and the other is global warming. Now to overcome these challenges, it is highly desirable to develop nanotechnology that harvests energy from the environment to fabricate self-power and low-carbon nanodevices. Therefore a self-power nanosystem that harvests its operating energy from the environment is an attractive proposition. This is also feasible for nanodevices owing to their extremely low power consumption. One advantageous approach towards harvesting energy from the environment is the utilization of semiconducting piezoelectric materials, which facilitate the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy. Among many piezoelectric materials ZnO has the rare attribute of possessing both piezoelectric and semiconducting properties. But most applications of ZnO utilize either the semiconducting or piezoelectric property, and now it’s time to fully employ the coupled semiconducting-piezoelectric properties to form  the basis for electromechanically coupled nanodevices. Since wurtzite zinc oxide (ZnO) is structurally noncentral symmetric and has the highest piezoelectric tensor among tetrahedrally bonded semiconductors, therefore it becomes a promising candidate for energy harvesting applications. ZnO is relatively biosafe and biocompatible as well, so it can be used at large scale without any harm to the living environment.

The synthesis of another transition metal oxide known as Co3O4 is also important due to its potential usage in the material science, physics and chemistry fields. Co3O4 has been studied extensively due to low cost, low toxicity, the most naturally abundant, high surface area, good redox, easily tunable surface and structural properties. These significant properties enable Co3O4 fruitful for developing variety of nanodevices. Co3O4 nanostructures have been focused considerably in the past decade due to their high electro-chemical performance, which is essential for developing highly sensitive sensor devices.

I started my work with the synthesis of ZnO nanostructures with a focus to improve the amount of harvested energy by utilizing oxygen plasma treatment. Then I grow ZnO nanorods on different flexible substrates, in order to observe the effect of substrate on the amount of harvested energy. After that I worked on understanding the mechanism and causes of variation in the resulting output potential generated from ZnO nanorods. My next target belongs to an innovative approach in which AFM tip decorated with ZnO nanorods was utilized to improve the output energy. Then I investigated Co3O4 nanostructures though the effect of anions and utilized one of the nanostructure to develop a fast and reliable pH sensor. Finally to take the advantage of higher degree of redox chemistry of NiCo0O4 compared to the single phase of nickel oxide and cobalt oxide, a sensitive glucose sensor is developed by immobilizing glucose oxidase.

However, there were problems with the mechanical robustness, lifetime, output stability and environmental adaptability of such devices, therefore more work is going on to find out new ways and means in order to improve the performance of fabricated nanogenerators and sensors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 71 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1610
Aqueous chemical growth method, ZnO nanorods, Oxygen plasma treatment, Piezoelectric and mechanical properties, Atomic force microscope, Nanoindentation, Co3O4 nanostructures, Anions effect, pH sensor, NiCo2O4 nanostructures, Glucose sensor
National Category
Physical Sciences Nano Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108894 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-108894 (DOI)978-91-7519-265-9 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-08-22, K 3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-07-11 Created: 2014-07-11 Last updated: 2014-08-18Bibliographically approved

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