Schottky model for triboelectric temperature dependence

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Publication Details
Author list: Olsen, Martin; Örtegren, Jonas; Zhang, Renyun; Reza, Salim;
Publication year: 2018
ISSN: 2045-2322


The triboelectric effect, charging by contact, is the working principle in a device called a triboelectric nanogenerator. They are used as efficient energy transducers in energy harvesting. In such generators the charging of surfaces at contact is followed by a separation of the surfaces increasing the electrical energy which can subsequently be used. Different materials have different triboelectric potentials leading to charging at contact. The temperature dependence of the charging has just recently been studied: the triboelectric effect is decreasing with temperature for a generator of Al-PTFE-Cu. Here, we suggest a mechanism to explain this effect assuming ion transfer using a two-level Schottky model where the two levels corresponds to the two surfaces. The difference in binding energy for ions on the two surfaces then enters the formula for charging. We fit the triboelectric power density as a function of temperature obtained from a two-level Schottky model to measured data for nanogenerators made of Al-PTFE-Cu found in three references. We obtain an average separation energy corresponding to a temperature of 365 K which is of the right magnitude for physically adsorbed atoms. We anticipate that this model could be used for many types of triboelectric nanogenerators.

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