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Tutorial ES4—Fundamentals and Applications of Nanogenerators and Piezotronics for Self-Powered Nanotechnologies

Monday, April 17
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
PCC North, 200 Level, Room 229 A


  • Rusen Yang, University of Minnesota
  • Guang Zhu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Wenzhuo Wu, Purdue University
  • Caofeng Pan, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Part I: Fundamentals and Applications of Nanogenerators for Energy Harvesting

8:30 am – 9:15 am—Rusen Yang
Piezoelectric Nanogenerators for Mechanical Energy Harvesting

Rusen Yang first discussed the fundamental principles of piezoelectric nanogenerators focusing on the materials and structural aspects, followed by discussions on designing and developing piezoelectric materials-based prototypes that can efficiently harvest mechanical energy. He then reviewed and discussed the recent advances in material design and processing for enabling novel piezoelectric biomaterials in energy harvesting, and conclude by providing an outlook and perspective of the piezoelectric nanogenerators.

9:15 am – 10:00 am—Guang Zhu
Triboelectric Nanogenerators as a New Energy Technology and Self-Powered Sensors

Guang Zhu first systematically reviewed the theory and physical models for various triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs). He discussed the latest progress of TENG devices in terms of its viability as a new energy technology and its application for self-powered sensors by harvesting the operational energy from human motion, walking, vibration, mechanical triggering, rotating tire, wind, flowing water, etc. Zhu  also discussed the research and application prospects in the field of TENG.

10:00 am – 10:30 am—Break

Part II: Piezotronics and Piezo-Phototronics for Adaptive Electronics and Optoelectronics

10:30 am – 11:15 am—Wenzhuo Wu
Piezotronics in Nanostructured Piezoelectric Semiconductors

Wenzhuo Wu first elaborated on the fundamental physics and material science of the piezotronic effect, which serves as the basis for understanding and utilizing the interfacial phenomena and interfacial engineering in piezotronics. He led discussion of the latest progress in designing and developing piezotronic technologies with piezoelectric semiconductor nanomaterials (e.g., 1D and 2D materials) for emerging applications in flexible electronics, smart sensors and human-machine interface. Finally, Wu provided his perspective of this rapidly advancing field.

11:15 am – 12:00 pm—Caofeng Pan
Piezo-Phototronics for Novel Optoelectronics

Caofeng Pan first discussed the fundamental principles for piezo-phototronics, which relies on the coupling between piezoelectricity, semiconductor property and optical excitation in semiconductor materials. He discussed the recent progress in developing novel adaptive optoelectronic devices, for example, photodetector, LEDs and solar cells, based on the piezo-phototronic effect. Pan summarized this session by discussing the prospect and outlook of research and applications of piezo-phototronics.