Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2021-04-26, 20:38 authored by Ruoxing WangRuoxing Wang

Electronics has become an inseparable part of our daily lives, stressing the supply of electrical power at anytime and anywhere. Besides reducing power consumption, increasing the energy density of the power supply component, and developing a sustainable power system that provides power by harvesting energy from the ambient environment are two solutions to address this challenge. To this end, my research goal is to transform advanced manufacturing through innovating designer functional nanomaterials for societally-pervasive areas including health monitoring, energy harvesting, human-machine interaction, and internet-of-things. Piezoelectric and triboelectric effects can convert mechanical energy to electricity, which enables the design of devices to utilize energy generated from the human body. The functional nanomaterials with such unique properties could be rationally synthesized and fabricated as sustainable power sources or self-powered systems.

In this dissertation, two kinds of devices have been developed, the nanogenerator to covert mechanical energy from human body to electricity and the self-powered sensor. First, A series of biomaterial and biocompatible materials derived wearable energy harvesting devices were invented by systematically engineering the chemical and surface structures. Second, a versatile platform was developed for the monolithic integration of liquid-solid heterojunction devices through the hybrid manufacturing of bottom-up growth of 2D ZnO piezoelectric nanostructures on additively printed liquid metal electrodes. This new class of wearable devices are conformable to human skins and can sustainably perform non-invasive physiological functions, e.g. detection of pulses and vocal vibration, by harvesting the operation power from the human body. Besides, the controllable manufacturing of functional nanocrystals and their energy-related applications are also included. This dissertation is expected to have a positive impact and immediate relevance to many societally pervasive areas, e.g. energy and environment, biomedical electronics, and human-machine interface.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Industrial Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Wenzhuo Wu

Additional Committee Member 2

Gary Cheng

Additional Committee Member 3

John W. Sutherland

Additional Committee Member 4

Benxin Wu

Additional Committee Member 5

Babak Ziaie