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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 1924651, 14 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Effective Elastic, Piezoelectric, and Dielectric Properties of SU8/ZnO Nanocomposite for Vertically Integrated Nanogenerators Using Finite Element Method

School of Minerals, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, Toshali Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751007, India

Correspondence should be addressed to Kaushik Das;

Received 24 January 2017; Accepted 13 April 2017; Published 15 May 2017

Academic Editor: R. Torrecillas

Copyright © 2017 Neelam Mishra 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.


A nanogenerator is a nanodevice which converts ambient mechanical energy into electrical energy. A piezoelectric nanocomposite, composed of vertical arrays of piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires, encapsulated in a compliant polymeric matrix, is one of most common configurations of a nanogenerator. Knowledge of the effective elastic, piezoelectric, and dielectric material properties of the piezoelectric nanocomposite is critical in the design of a nanogenerator. In this work, the effective material properties of a unidirectional, unimodal, continuous piezoelectric composite, consisting of SU8 photoresist as matrix and vertical array of ZnO nanowires as reinforcement, are systematically evaluated using finite element method (FEM). The FEM simulations were carried out on cubic representative volume elements (RVEs). Four different types of arrangements of ZnO nanowires and three sizes of RVEs have been considered. The volume fraction of ZnO nanowires is varied from 0 to a maximum of 0.7. Homogeneous displacement and electric potential are prescribed as boundary conditions. The material properties are evaluated as functions of reinforcement volume fraction. The values obtained through FEM simulations are compared with the results obtained via the Eshelby-Mori-Tanaka micromechanics. The results demonstrate the significant effects of ZnO arrangement, ZnO volume fraction, and size of RVE on the material properties.