Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting

Sangtae Kim, Soon Ju Choi, Kejie Zhao, Hui Yang, Giorgia Gobbi, Sulin Zhang, Ju Li

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Abstract

Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress-voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition-voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10146
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 6 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Kim, S., Choi, S. J., Zhao, K., Yang, H., Gobbi, G., Zhang, S., & Li, J. (2016). Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting. Nature communications, 7, [10146]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10146