Quantifying the power output and structural figure-of-merits of triboelectric nanogenerators in a charging system starting from the Maxwell's displacement current

Jiajia Shao, Morten Willatzen, Tao Jiang, Wei Tang, Xiangyu Chen, Jie Wang, Zhong Lin Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Conversion of mechanical energy into electricity using triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) is a rapidly expanding research area. Although the theoretical origin of TENGs has been proven using the Maxwell's displacement current (I D ), a profound quantitative understanding of its generation is not available. Moreover, a comprehensive analysis of the fundamental charging behavior of TENGs and building a standard to evaluate each TENG's unique charging characteristic are critical to ensure efficient use of them in practice. We present a thorough analysis of TENG's charging behavior through which a more complete evaluation of TENG charging is proposed by introducing the structural figure of merit (FOMCs) in a charging system (powering capacitors). The analysis is based on Maxwell's displacement current and results are verified experimentally. To achieve this, according to the distance-dependent electric field model, we provide a systematic discussion on the generation of I D in TENGs, along with the derived analytical formula and numerical calculations. This work suggests a new way to deeply understand the nature of the I D generated within the TENGs; and the modified FOMC S can be used to predict the charging characteristics of TENGs in an energy storage system, allowing us to utilize the TENGs more efficiently towards different applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNano Energy
Pages (from-to)380-389
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Charging behavior
  • Displacement current
  • Power output
  • Structural figure-of-merit
  • Triboelectric nanogenerator

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