Soybean-inspired nanomaterial-based broadband piezoelectric energy harvester with local bistability

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Original languageEnglish
Article number107823
Journal / PublicationNano Energy
Issue numberPart B
Online published20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


Bistable nonlinear energy harvesters are effective structures for scavenging broadband energy from frequency-varying vibration sources. The bistable characteristic of such structures is typically induced by introducing magnetic fields, prestress, and nonuniform geometries or fixtures. However, the complicated structures or single deformation modes of these structures limit their practical application. Inspired by the structure of soybean pods, a bionic metallic nanomaterial-based bistable piezoelectric energy harvester is developed in this study. The nanoplate substrate with a local bistable region mimics the configuration of a soybean pod. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the local bistable configuration represents a novel energy harvesting strategy. The local bistable nanoplate is fabricated using a mature surface mechanical attrition treatment technique that generates a gradient nanostructure to enhance the mechanical properties of the bistable structure. The energy harvesting performance and nonlinear dynamic characteristics of the energy harvester are evaluated through frequency-sweep and fixed-frequency vibration tests and numerical simulations with a new two-step finite element (FE) model. The harvester characteristics in three vibration modes (single-well vibration (SV), intermittent cross-well vibration (ICV), and continuous cross-well vibration (CCV)) are discussed. The experimental and numerical results demonstrate that the voltage output and working bandwidth of the proposed harvester increase by five times in the ICV and CCV modes when the excitation acceleration increases from 0.5 g to 3.0 g. The bionic nanomaterial-based bistable piezoelectric energy harvester can be potentially used in various applications such as vehicle suspension systems, tires, and vehicle-bridge systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Bistable energy harvester, Local bistable nanoplate, Nonlinear dynamic characteristics, Numerical simulation, Surface mechanical attrition treatment, Vibration test