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Dual-Function Smart Textile Created with Nanofibers

A recent study published in the journal Nano Energy describes the production of a novel device with several functions, integrating a dual-temperature regulator with a triboelectric nanogenerator for self-powered human-machine interaction.

Dual-Function Smart Textile Created with Nanofibers

Study: Multifunctional device integrating dual-temperature regulator for outdoor personal thermal comfort and triboelectric nanogenerator for self-powered human-machine interaction. Image Credit: whiteMocca/

Here, a tactile triboelectric nanogenerator (T-TENG structure) and materials were optimized for an open-circuit voltage, a short-circuit current, and an effective peak power density. Researchers describe this flexible T-self-powered TENG to be perfect for human-machine interaction and wearable devices.

Major Energy Issues 

Global warming and energy waste are becoming major concerns. Modern civilization heavily relies on renewable energy sources including sun, wind, ocean, and tidal energy. In the future, personal thermal management may impact public health and worldwide energy treatment.

Residential and commercial energy consumption accounts for 15 % of global power demand and outdoor personal heating/cooling is difficult due to temperature changes produced by sunlight. Therefore, localized human body-thermal control is essential for reducing power consumption. In nature, polar bears, spiders, snakes, bees, and ultra-black birds are thermally regulated.

Previous studies used nano-textiles to test new ways to boost body radiative dissipation in hot weather and reduce it in cold. Outdoor spaces are also needed for personal, social, and recreational activities. Solar energy conversion, human thermal emission, and open-air thermal loss all contribute to the ultimate conclusion. However, few studies focused on heating/cooling outside. 

What is Human-Machine Interaction (HMI)?

Energy collection and conversion are critical in the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) age, using intelligent materials and devices. HMI offers simultaneous human-machine communication through interactive media like smart clothing and electronic skin. Soft electrical technologies such as noninvasive nanogenerators and intelligent soft robots have lately been studied as human-machine interfaces.

HMI systems require a human-readable output like a screen or a mobile app. Integrated power actuator, sensor, data collection, and transmission are required for miniaturization, integration, and intelligence.

HMI addresses obstacles like limited mobility and costly maintenance costs by combining power generation with sensing and communication. One kind of nanogenerator can detect pressure, while another can detect kinestate (blood pressure, sphygmus, heat rate, and respiration) 

Importance of Triboelectric Nanogenerator (TENG)

Previous studies proposed the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) to power electronic devices using mechanical triggering energy. Input from human fingers controls the TENG-based haptic sensor arrays.

TENGs can be used to monitor physiological data and recognize object forms, and may also be used for electrical vehicle control and measurement of angular velocity and displacement.

Research into TENG-based HMI systems that will have a significant impact on daily life are still being undertaken, such as remote medical monitoring and temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors on prosthetic limbs. TENG-based HMI fields need real-time data collection, detection, and transfer. To activate or command subordinate electronic equipment, sensors’ observed electric signals (voltage and current) must be identified. Appropriate TENG qualities need optimal material, device, signal processing, and analysis.

In this study, the researchers used functional nanomaterials to provide dual-modal temperature control and self-powered triboelectric HMI because a nanomaterial or nanodevice has several applications and today's versatile gadgets need a unified application scenario. Therefore, nanomaterials become an apparent choice for use in TENG based HMI systems.

Research Conclusion and Prospect

The researchers found that a 30-minute exposure to the light electrostatically spun two types of wearable composite nanofibers i.e, cooling (PAN/CB) and heating (PAN/CB). When thermoelectricity was used to maintain electricity supply, a high voltage level was achieved, successfully merging nanomaterials with energy harvesting devices for next-generation development. Furthermore, T-TENG was used for the first time to operate International Morse code, which can be a critical form of communication in certain situations.  

T-TENG was used in conjunction with machine learning techniques to achieve high detection performance as a self-powered transmitter. Considering the T-TENG's characteristics, including its flexibility, self-powered sensitivity, moisture absorption, and better electoral efficiency, the T-TENG has enormous promise as a future wearable electrical gadget for HMI, fitness bands, and soft robotics, among other applications.


Ye, G., Wan, Y. et al. (2022). Multifunctional device integrating dual-temperature regulator for outdoor personal thermal comfort and triboelectric nanogenerator for self-powered human-machine interaction. Nano Energy. Available at:

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Shaheer Rehan

Written by

Shaheer Rehan

Shaheer is a graduate of Aerospace Engineering from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad. He has carried out research on a wide range of subjects including Aerospace Instruments and Sensors, Computational Dynamics, Aerospace Structures and Materials, Optimization Techniques, Robotics, and Clean Energy. He has been working as a freelance consultant in Aerospace Engineering for the past year. Technical Writing has always been a strong suit of Shaheer's. He has excelled at whatever he has attempted, from winning accolades on the international stage in match competitions to winning local writing competitions. Shaheer loves cars. From following Formula 1 and reading up on automotive journalism to racing in go-karts himself, his life revolves around cars. He is passionate about his sports and makes sure to always spare time for them. Squash, football, cricket, tennis, and racing are the hobbies he loves to spend his time in.


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