Piezoelectric ribbons printed onto rubber for flexible energy conversion

Yi Qi, Noah T. Jafferis, Kenneth Lyons, Christine M. Lee, Habib Ahmad, Michael C. McAlpine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

347 Scopus citations


The development of a method for integrating highly efficient energy conversion materials onto stretchable, biocompatible rubbers could yield breakthroughs in implantable or wearable energy harvesting systems. Being electromechanlcally coupled, piezoelectric crystals represent a particularly Interesting subset of smart materials that function as sensors/actuators, bioMEMS devices, and energy converters. Yet, the crystallization of these materials generally requires high temperatures for maximally efficient performance, rendering them incompatible with temperature-sensitive plastics and rubbers. Here, we overcome these limitations by presenting a scalable and parallel process for transferring crystalline piezoelectric nanothick ribbons of lead zirconate titanate from host substrates onto flexible rubbers over macroscopic areas. Fundamental characterization of the ribbons by piezo-force microscopy indicates that their electromechanical energy conversion metrics are among the highest reported on a flexible medium. The excellent performance of the piezo-ribbon assemblies coupled with stretchable, biocompatible rubber may enable a host of exciting avenues in fundamental research and novel applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-525
Number of pages2
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2010


  • Biomems
  • Energy conversion
  • Flexible electronics
  • Nanomechanlcs
  • Piezo force microscopy
  • Piezoelectric nanoribbons

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