Sensors (Basel). 2022 Aug 21;22(16):6280. doi: 10.3390/s22166280.
Cellulose, the most abundant sustainable material on Earth, has excellent mechanical and physical properties, high optical transparency, biocompatibility, and piezoelectricity. So, it has many possibilities for future materials, and many researchers are interested in its application. In this paper, cellulose nanofiber (CNF) and CNF/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films are made, and their vibration energy harvesting is studied. CNF was isolated by chemical and physical methods, and the CNF suspension was cast on a flat substrate to make a film. A cast CNF wet film stayed in a 5 Tesla superconductor magnet for 7 days, which resulted in CNF alignment perpendicular to the magnetic field. To further improve the mechanical properties of the CNF film, mechanical stretching was applied. The CNF suspension was mixed with PVA, giving the film toughness. The cast CNF/PVA wet film was mechanically stretched and dried, which improved the CNF alignment. The fabricated CNF and CNF/PVA films were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to verify the alignment. By stretching, the aligned CNF/PVA film exhibits the largest mechanical properties along the aligned direction. The maximum Young’s modulus and tensile strength of the 50% stretched CNF/PVA film are 14.9 GPa and 170.6 MPa, respectively. Finally, a vibration energy harvesting experiment was performed by invoking the piezoelectric behavior of the pure CNF, and 50% stretched CNF/PVA films. The harvester structure was innovated by adopting a cymbal structure, which was beneficial to producing large in-plane strain on the films. The designed cymbal structure was analyzed using ANSYS, and its natural frequency was experimentally verified. The CNF/PVA film performs better vibration energy harvesting than the pure CNF film. The CNF/PVA film is applicable for biocompatible and flexible vibration energy harvesting.