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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 5651613, 24 pages
Review Article

Recent Progress in Triboelectric Nanogenerators as a Renewable and Sustainable Power Source

1Department of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

Received 19 August 2015; Accepted 20 January 2016

Academic Editor: David Cornu

Copyright © 2016 Zhiming Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The newly developed triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) provide an excellent approach to convert mechanical energy into electricity, which are mainly based on the coupling between triboelectrification and electrostatic induction. The TENG has the potential of harvesting many kinds of mechanical energies such as vibration, rotation, wind, human motion, and even water wave energy, which could be a new paradigm for scavenging large scale energy. It also demonstrates a possible route towards practical applications for powering electronic devices. This paper presents a comprehensive review of the four modes of TENGs: vertical contact-separation mode, in-plane sliding mode, single-electrode mode, and free-standing triboelectric-layer mode. The performance enhancements of TENGs for harvesting energy as a sustainable power source are also discussed. In addition, recent reports on the hybridized nanogenerator are introduced, which may enable fully self-powered electronic devices. Finally, the practical applications of TENGs for energy harvesting are presented.