Large-Area Direct Laser-Shock Imprinting of a 3D Biomimic Hierarchical Metal Surface for Triboelectric Nanogenerators

Shengyu Jin, Yixiu Wang, Maithilee Motlag, Shengjie Gao, Jin Xu, Qiong Nian, Wenzhuo Wu, Gary J. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Ongoing efforts in triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) focus on enhancing power generation, but obstacles concerning the economical and cost-effective production of TENGs continue to prevail. Micro-/nanostructure engineering of polymer surfaces has been dominantly utilized for boosting the contact triboelectrification, with deposited metal electrodes for collecting the scavenged energy. Nevertheless, this state-of-the-art approach is limited by the vague potential for producing 3D hierarchical surface structures with conformable coverage of high-quality metal. Laser-shock imprinting (LSI) is emerging as a potentially scalable approach for directly surface patterning of a wide range of metals with 3D nanoscale structures by design, benefiting from the ultrahigh-strain-rate forming process. Here, a TENG device is demonstrated with LSI-processed biomimetic hierarchically structured metal electrodes for efficient harvesting of water-drop energy in the environment. Mimicking and transferring hierarchical microstructures from natural templates, such as leaves, into these water-TENG devices is effective regarding repelling water drops from the device surface, since surface hydrophobicity from these biomicrostructures maximizes the TENG output. Among various leaves' microstructures, hierarchical microstructures from dried bamboo leaves are preferable regarding maximizing power output, which is attributed to their unique structures, containing both dense nanostructures and microscale features, compared with other types of leaves. Also, the triboelectric output is significantly improved by closely mimicking the hydrophobic nature of the leaves in the LSI-processed metal surface after functionalizing it with low-surface-energy self-assembled-monolayers. The approach opens doors to new manufacturable TENG technologies for economically feasible and ecologically friendly production of functional devices with directly patterned 3D biomimic metallic surfaces in energy, electronics, and sensor applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1705840
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • biomimicry
  • laser processing
  • nanoimprinting
  • triboelectric generators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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