Moisture-Induced Autonomous Surface Potential Oscillations for Energy Harvesting


A variety of autonomous oscillations in nature such as heartbeats and some biochemical reactions have been widely studied and utilized for applications in the fields of bioscience and engineering. Here, we report a unique phenomenon of moisture-induced electrical potential oscillations on polymers, poly([2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl) ammonium hydroxide-co-acrylic acid), during the diffusion of water molecules. Chemical reactions are modelled by kinetic simulations while system dynamic equations and the stability matrix are analyzed to show the chaotic nature of the system which oscillates with hidden attractors to induce the autonomous surface potential oscillation. Using moisture in the ambient environment as the activation source, this self-excited chemoelectrical reaction could have broad influences and usages in surface-reaction based devices and systems. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, an energy harvester is constructed and achieved the continuous energy production for more than 15,000 seconds with an energy density of 16.8 mJ/cm2. A 2-Volts output voltage has been produced to power a liquid crystal display toward practical applications with five energy harvesters connected in series.

Han Kim
Mingze Yao
Christine Heera Ahn
Zhaoyang Li
Seung-Wuk Lee
Publication date: 
September 6, 2021
Publication type: 
Journal Article
Long, Y., He, P., Shao, Z. et al. Moisture-induced autonomous surface potential oscillations for energy harvesting. Nat Commun 12, 5287 (2021).

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