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Highly Transparent and Flexible Triboelectric Nanogenerators with Subwavelength-Architectured Polydimethylsiloxane by a Nanoporous Anodic Aluminum Oxide Template

Dudem, Bhaskar, Ko, Yeong Hwan, Leem, Jung Woo, Lee, Soo Hyun, Yu, Jae Su
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.37 pp. 20520-20529
aluminum, aluminum oxide, coatings, contact angle, cost effectiveness, electrochemistry, electrodes, gold, hydrophobicity, indium tin oxide, nanopores, oxidation, polydimethylsiloxane, polyethylene terephthalates, transmittance, wavelengths
Highly transparent and flexible triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) were fabricated using the subwavelength-architectured (SWA) polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with a nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template as a replica mold. The SWA PDMS could be utilized as a multifunctional film for a triboelectric layer, an antireflection coating, and a self-cleaning surface. The nanopore arrays of AAO were formed by a simple, fast, and cost-effective electrochemical oxidation process of aluminum, which is relatively impressive for fabrication of the TENG device. For electrical contacts, the SWA PDMS was laminated on the indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as a bottom electrode, and the bare ITO-coated PET (i.e., ITO/PET) was used for the top electrode. Compared to the ITO/PET, the SWA PDMS on the ITO/PET improved the transmittance from 80.5 to 83% in the visible wavelength region and also had high transmittances of >85% at wavelengths of 430–455 nm. The SWA PDMS also exhibited the hydrophobic surface with a water contact angle (θCA) of ∼115°, which can be useful for self-cleaning applications. The average transmittance (Tₐᵥg) of the entire TENG device was observed to be ∼70% over a broad wavelength range. At an external pushing frequency of 0.5 Hz, for the TENG device with the ITO top electrode, open-circuit voltage (VOC) and short-circuit current (ISC) values of ∼3.8 V and ∼0.8 μA were obtained instantaneously, respectively, which were higher than those (i.e., VOC ≈ 2.2 V, and ISC ≈ 0.4 μA) of the TENG device with a gold top electrode. The effect of external pushing force and frequency on the output device performance of the TENGs was investigated, including the device robustness. A theoretical optical analysis of SWA PDMS was also performed.