Flexible three-dimensional interconnected piezoelectric ceramic foam based composites for highly efficient concurrent mechanical and thermal energy harvesting

Guangzu Zhang, Peng Zhao, Xiaoshan Zhang, Kuo Han, Tiankai Zhao, Yong Zhang, Chang Kyu Jeong, Shenglin Jiang, Sulin Zhang, Qing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Flexible piezoelectric materials are pivotal to a variety of emerging applications ranging from wearable electronic devices, sensors to biomedical devices. Current ceramic-polymer composites with embedded low-dimensional ceramic fillers, though mechanically flexible, suffer from low piezoelectricity owing to the poor load-transfer efficiency that typically scales with the stiffness ratio of the polymer matrix to the ceramic fillers. Herein we introduce the scalable ceramic-polymer composites based on three-dimensional (3-D) interconnected piezoelectric microfoams. Comprehensive mechanics analyses reveal that the 3-D interconnected architecture presents a continuous pathway for load transfer to break the load-transfer scaling law seen in the conventional composites with low-dimensional ceramic fillers. The 3-D composite exhibits exceptional piezoelectric characteristics under multiple loading conditions (i.e., compression, stretching, and bending) and high mechanical durability under thousands of cycles. The 3-D composite also displays excellent pyroelectricity, thereby enabling concurrent thermal and mechanical energy scavenging. Our findings suggest an innovative material framework for high-performance energy harvesters and self-powered micromechanical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2046-2056
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution

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