Office for Technology Commercialization

Peptide-based Piezoelectric Nanogenerator Enhanced by Single-Electrode Triboelectric Nanogenerator

Technology #20170384

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Rusen Yang, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Managed By
Kevin Nickels
Technology Licensing Officer 612-625-7289
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
Piezoelectric peptide-based nanogenerator enhanced by single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator
APL Materials, 5, 074108 (2017)

Increased Power Output, Simplified Configuration

A new energy harvesting device combines a peptide-based piezoelectric nanogenerator with a single-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator. The hybrid nature of this nanogenerator offers significantly increased power output, as total power output represents the additive values of the respective nanogenerators. Because it uses electrodes from the piezoelectric nanogenerator, it requires no additional conductive electrodes on the triboelectric nanogenerator, simplifying its configuration simplified. This technology not only enhances peptide-based piezoelectric devices, but also advances future designs of hybrid piezoelectric and triboelectric nanogenerators. It has potential for use in a variety of technologies (i.e., self-powered devices, wearable systems, plantable and implantable devices, consumer electronics, smart road devices, etc.).

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial period is six to twelve months
  • Trial fee is $5000/6 months
  • Trial fee is waived for MN companies or if sponsoring $50,000+ research with the University
  • No US patent expenses during trial period
  • $10,000 conversion fee (TRY to BUY)
  • Royalty rate of 1% (.5% for MN company)
  • Royalty free for first $1M in sales

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** Contact Kevin Nickels for specific details. **

Power Source for Micro and Nano Devices

Piezoelectric materials have gained prominence as electromechanical energy conversion devices due to their versatility, biocompatibility and mild synthesis processes. While peptide-based piezoelectric materials can produce parallel electrical dipoles, electricity output from peptide-based nanogenerator is low. The complementary action of the two nanogenerators in this new device provides higher power output than conventional peptide-based nanogenerators. The hybrid device superposes voltage and current outputs of each individual nanogenerator, producing overall constructive enhanced outputs through both deformation and friction contact. In addition, this device only requires two electrodes: reducing the number electrodes from three or more significantly simplifies its fabrication and reduces its cost.


  • Higher power output than conventional peptide-based nanogenerators
  • Uses fewer electrodes
  • Easier fabrication
  • Lower cost
  • Smaller size
  • High power density from using both deformation and friction as energy source


  • Commercialization of energy harvesting devices
  • Power source for portable, wearable, and flexible electronics
  • Power source for implantable devices such as cardioverter defibrillators, pacemakers, neurostimulators
  • Self-powered devices (e.g., micro/nano devices)
  • Wearable systems: nanogenerators integrated into textiles can generate electricity from human body movement and power portable electronic devices (e.g., health-monitoring systems or power-generating artificial skin)
  • Consumer devices: nanogenerators formed into flexible and transparent organic devices for potential applications in consumer electronics, especially touch-screen devices
  • Smart roads: implanting nanogenerators on roads can help charge electric vehicles: it can harvest kinetic energy and pressure generated by vehicles to produce power to charge electric vehicles, thus demonstrating the concept of “smart roads”

Phase of Development - working prototype fabricated