Triboelectric single-electrode-output control interface using patterned grid electrode

Qiongfeng Shi, Chunkai Qiu, Tianyiyi He, Fan Wu, Minglu Zhu, Jan A. Dziuban, Rafał Walczak, Mehmet Rasit Yuce, Chengkuo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Control interfaces are important devices for connecting human with machines to achieve various manipulations. Recently, the emerging triboelectric based control interfaces exhibit great advantages in flexible wearable and battery-less applications. To further reduce the device complexity and improve the device practicability, a minimalist control interface with only one sensing electrode is developed based on sliding triboelectric mode. The developed control interface consists of connected grid metal pattern as single-electrode output for multi-directional sensing and controlling. This design provides superior advantages, including realization of multi-directional sensing and controlling using only one electrode and ultra-robust detection mechanism based on the number of the generated output peaks. Compared to the traditional triboelectric nanogenerators, this detection mechanism only depends on the number of the output peaks rather than the absolute magnitude, offering high robustness and reliability in various usage scenarios and for different users. Based on the minimalist design, two types of devices are proposed for the applications of 2D and 3D control. First, a flexible 2D-control patch with single electrode is developed to achieve in-plane 2D control. Next, through the integration of two similar patches on both sides of a card, a flexible 3D-control card is achieved to realize 3D control. In addition, the control patch and the control card are then investigated in terms of energy harvesting performance, both of which show good performance in scavenging energy from human tapping. In practical usage, these two devices are successfully demonstrated for 2D vehicle control and 3D virtual drone control, respectively. The developed flexible, self-powered and minimalist control interfaces exhibit promising potentials for diverse applications such as gaming, virtual/augmented reality, entertainment, smart home, and robotics control, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-556
Number of pages12
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Control interface
  • Patterned grid
  • Self-powered
  • Single electrode
  • Triboelectric

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