Photoluminescent & Piezoelectric Composite Towards a Mechatronics Platform for Self-Powered Autonomous Devices with Sensing Capabilities

Significance 

With stringent laws on emissions being effected every day globally, scientists have taken up the challenge to develop alternative eco-friendly and sustainable energy sources in a bid to curb the ever rising energy demand. Energy harvesting is amongst the most suitable exploitable technological alternative. Piezoelectric materials have been the highest explored energy transducers with zinc oxide emerging as the most popular despite the inherent drawbacks it possesses. Recent technological advances have led to the establishment of Poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) which has excellent piezoelectric attributes. Nonetheless, successful development of PVDF-based piezoelectric devices depends on the effective fabrication of polar crystalline structures, such as the β phase structure. Carbon quantum dots (CQDs) have been put forward as potential substitute of the metal based quantum dots utilized to induce the β form in PVDF matrix, however, to date no one has attempted to fabricate such composite systems.

Recently, Southwest Jiaotong University: Songyuan Ma , Long Jin, Xi Huang , Professor Jun Lu and Professor Weiqing Yang in collaboration with Professor Rui Huang at Sichuan University and Dr. Christos Riziotis at National Hellenic Research Foundation in Greece designed and fabricated a novel PVDF/CQDs-based piezoelectric photo-luminescent composite system. They successfully prepared PVDF/CQDs composites by solution casting followed by a high-pressure crystallization process. Their work is currently published in the research journal, Advanced Material Interfaces.

The research technique employed commenced with the morphological and dispersion analysis of the CQDs in PVDF matrix. Next, the researchers engaged in high-pressure experiments for the PVDF/CQDs composite where they used a prototype self-made piston-cylinder apparatus. They then performed transmission electron microscopy observations followed closely by laser scanning confocal microscope detections. Lastly, an energy harvesting performance of the samples, without any electrical poling treatment, was undertaken.

The authors observed that the introduction of 3D quasi-spherical CQDs induced the self-assembly of polymorphic substructures in the PVDF crystallites at high pressure, and piezoelectric 3D nanosheet arrays, 1D nanometer small sticks, and 1D nanowires, respectively, were formed in situ as the concentration of CQDs increased. Additionally, they recorded that in the absence of electrical polarization treatment, the maximum open-circuit voltage output density of the durable composite system reached 19.2 V cm−2 and short-circuit current output density of 550 nA cm−2, both far exceeding that of pure PVDF.

Their study presented the successful design and fabrication of the novel PVDF/CQDs-based poling-free self-powered hybrid composite. They mainly observed that the in situ formed nanostructures with unique morphologies considerably enhanced the adeptness of mechanical-to-electrical conversion. Altogether, the work indeed is a step in the right direction towards the development of environmental friendly self-powered devices, and the material system fabricated here possess boundless potential in the field of cell imaging, autonomous monitoring devices and biosensors.

About the author

Songyuan Ma received his BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Tianjin Polytechnic University (TJPU). After that, he received a MS in Materials Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU). His research interests include phase transition and piezoelectric properties of high-pressure crystallized PVDF based composites.

Email: [email protected]

About the author

Long Jin received his B.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University (2015). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Weiqing Yang at Southwest Jiaotong University. He has won National Scholarship and Tanglixin Scholarship for several times, and received award as an Outstanding Graduate Student Pacesetter.
His research interests concern nanogenerator and nanosensor devices for self-powered system. By such devices, many kinds of mechanical energy (such as human motion, walking, vibration, mechanical triggering, rotating tire, wind) that are available but wasted in our daily life can be harvested for powering small electronics. He is interested in structural design and materials enhancement for nanogenerators.

He has given oral presentation in international conferences (2016, 2017). And he has published over 20 articles including publications in Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, and Nano Energy. His H index is 10.

Email: [email protected]

About the author

Xi Huang recieved her BS and is pursuing a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University, China. Her current research focuses on crystallization behaviour and piezoelectric property of electrospun PVDF and its compounds.
Email: [email protected]

About the author

Dr. Christos Riziotis is Faculty Researcher at the National Hellenic Research Foundation, Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, where he is leading the research activity “Applied Photonics-Materials and Devices”. He holds a Ph.D. in Photonics from Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton (2001), and an M.Sc. in Electronics and Telecommunications and a Degree in Physics both from National University of Athens, Greece. His scientific interests are focused on integrated optics, direct laser writing and micromachining, photonics modelling, fibre sensors, WDM components and systems, and photonic materials, with demonstrated applications ranging from defence industry & industrial process monitoring to environmental chemical sensors and biomedical diagnostics tools. Within his research activity he has developed a number of active collaborations with academia and industry (Pirelli Cavi, Southampton Photonics, Stratophase, Prisma Electronics, MBDA Missile Systems, Bayern Chemie mbH) and produced to date over 80 technical papers in international journals and conference proceedings as well as three international patents. He is Referee for over 30 international journals in the area of photonics, materials, devices and also committee member in a number of international conferences.

He is currently Associate Editor in a number of Journals including Journal of Sensors (Hindawi), Instruments & Sci (MDPI) and also Management Committee Member in a number of COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) actions.

He serves also as an Expert in IEC Standardization Technical Committee for Fibre Optic Sensors. He was the Chair of the 6th IC-MAST “International Conference on Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers”, and has organised a number of Special Issues, in Journal of Sensors: “Fiber and Integrated Waveguide-Based Optical Sensors”, Sensors: “Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers”, Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience: “Technology Trends and Theory of Nanoscale Devices for Quantum Applications”, and Instruments “Photonic Devices Instrumentation and Applications”.

His research group link: “Applied Photonics-Materials and Devices”

Email: [email protected]

About the author

Prof. Rui Huang specializes in polymer material processing, the infilling, blending, foaming technics and functionalization of polymers and their high pressure processing behaviour. He graduated from Sichuan Uniersity (original Chengdu Institute of Technology) in 1956 and then stayed there as a faculty member. In 1990 he went to America working as a visiting professor in Tufts University for one year. In 1988 he was promoted to full professor.

He has published over 240 papers in domestic and foreign journals and conferences and was engaged in editing and reviewing 16 professional books.
Email: [email protected]

About the author

Prof. Weiqing Yang was credited with Sichuan Thousand Talents Plan and was awarded Sichuan Young Talent. He received a MS in 2007 and a phD in 2011. Between 2011-2014 he worked as postdoctoral researcher in University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. From April 2014 he has been holding position as Professor at Southwest Jiaotong University. Prof. Weiqing Yang focuses on basic research of nano energy materials and functional devices. In recent years, his group has published over 110 SCI papers, thereinto, 21 papers have a IF>10, 8 of them are ESI highly papers, and the whole citation nubmer of all his work has reached up to 3000.

Prof. Weiqing Yang has been implementing projects from National Natural Science Foundation, Preeminent Youth Fund of Sichuan Province, Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, etc. His work has caused broad interests and was reported by NSF, Newscientist, CCTV and 20 more online media.
Email: [email protected]

About the author

Prof. Jun Lu, other used names Jun Lyu and Jun Lv, received his bachelor degree in polymer engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology, China in 1992, and PhD degree in material processing engineering from Sichuan University, China in 2006. He worked respectively as a postdoctoral fellow and senior researcher at Chonnam National University, South Korea from 2006 to 2008. He joined Southwest Jiaotong University, China as an associate professor in 2008, and then got promoted to full professor in 2014.

His current research focuses on processing and properties of advanced functional polymeric materials and their optoelectronic devices. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious international and domestic journals. He is the recipient of 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, and his biography is listed in Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in Asia.
Email: [email protected]

Reference

Songyuan Ma, Long Jin, Xi Huang, Christos Riziotis, Rui Huang, Chaoliang Zhang, Jun Lu and Weiqing Yang. Nanogenerators Begin to Light Up: A Novel Poling-Free Piezoelectric System with Multicolor Photoluminescence as an Efficient Mechatronics Development Platform. Advanced Material Interfaces 2018, 1800587

Go To Advanced Material Interfaces

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