Piezo Nanomaterials and Green Energy

By Rusen Yang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universtiy of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

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Development of nanotechnology and low-power elecronics is leading to the transformative self-powered nanosystems that exhibit ultra-small size, supersensitivity, extraordinary nulti-functionity and extremely low power consumption. One of the grand challenges for the next generation nanosystem is the controlled growth of functional nanomaterials and the development of the nanoscale energy harvester to power the system. Various zink oxid (ZnO) nanostructures have been grown in vapor or aquatic environment ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays have been successfully demonstrated to convert nanoscale mechanical energy into electric energy. We achieved a breakthrough with laterally-packaged single wire generator, which solved the transient contact issue in DC nanogenerator and produced power output from irregular mechanical disturbance, such as finger tapping and running hamster. Recently, we successfully achieved bio-inspired piezoelectric materials with controlled polarization and fabricated the first peptide based energy harvester. This presentation will introduce the fundamental principle of nanogenerator and its potential applications.


Rusen Yang Dr. Rusen Yang is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota since 2010. He obtained his M.S. and B.S. in Condensed Matter Physics from Jilin University, China. In 2007, he received his PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he continued as Post Doctoral Associate till 2010. He has done extensive research in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, with special interest in the growth and applications of ZnO, SnO2, Zn3P2 and other nanomaterials. His most recent work on nanogenerators based on single ZnO wires made significant contribution in the field of energy harvesting. His research work has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers, which have been cited more than 4,700 times. Dr. Yang has been recognized with the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2012 and 3M Nontenured Faculty Award in 2014. He has been selected for the 2013-15 class of McKnight Land-Grant Professors.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Rusen Yang (2016), "Piezo Nanomaterials and Green Energy," http://nanohub.org/resources/25105.

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