Since actually be altered by adding certain dopants. Lowering

Since this finding is still new and in its beginning stage, a
lot of questions still remain unsolved. The main issues that still puzzle
researchers are the detailed working principles behind this twistron harvester
and its microstructure evolution under mechanical strain. In depth
understanding of these aspects are very important for improving and optimizing
the performance for future applications. Specifically, the detailed study of
ions movement when the harvester is immersed in electrolyte and during
deformation should be carried out. It is necessary to clarify the mechanisms on
how the yarns make power generation possible while enabling ions to flow in and
out when twisted or stretched. Current findings are not sufficient to justify
the performance because there is not enough evidence to fully relate and
explain the numerical data. As mentioned in the paper, the low mechanical to
electrical conversion efficiency is also an issue to be noted. Despite looking
sophisticated, the efficiency of transforming mechanical energy to electricity
is not really impressive, which makes it not suitable for large scale
commercialization. There are still many unknowns on how the electrical
properties of CNT react in response to mechanical deformation (twisting and
stretching).

 

Future research project following this will possibly be
characterizing the nano-structure of these yarns before and after deformation.
This can be done by studying them at nano-scale by x-ray nanotomography.
Despite CNT is often simplified as 1-dimensional (1D) material due to its
rod-like structure, in reality it still possesses own volume and the properties
of 1D and 3D material actually differ significantly. Especially in the case of
MWNT which is used here. By analyzing the 3D structure, it is expected that
more information regarding the dynamics of electric charge and changes in CNT
microstructure can be evaluated. Since the induced strain and internal friction
within the yarns are reported to be the driving force for charge release, the
variation in strain and effect on internal friction should be thoroughly
investigated. Vacancy and other defects of CNT could possibly affect the
internal friction, hence clarifying these relationships are crucial to see how
the twistron harvester’s performance changes with internal friction. Besides
that, how stress distribution in CNT affects the electric charge density during
deformation should also be studied. Specifically involving relationship between
volumetric change and charge densification. In short, there is a need to clarify
twistron harvester starting from nano up to macro scale.

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Moreover, as reported the twistron impedance is directly
affected by the yarns’ resistance, therefore it is crucial to research possible
solutions on decreasing the resistance. It is well known that the electronic
properties of CNT can actually be altered by adding certain dopants. Lowering
the yarns’ resistance will enhance the power output of the harvester. However,
it is still unknown whether such dopants will positively affect the internal friction
and charge liberation under mechanical deformation. Introducing doping agents
to CNT will somehow change the microstructure and this is expected to cause
certain effect on the performance.
Finding suitable dopants and comparing the performance between doped and
un-doped CNT when used as twistron harvester will definitely be a new prospect
for this research. Nevertheless, the most ideal case is to fully understand and
control the microstructure of pristine CNT as this will avoid unnecessary
complicated preparation steps. By varying the size of CNT, evaluation of the
harvester’s performance can also be carried out. Structural properties such as
length and diameter of CNT will have influence on the charge accumulation and
release. The accumulation of charge on CNT will need to depend on electrode and
electrolyte interface that can be accessed by the charges. When larger size of
CNT is used, the available surface area will increase, however at the same time
vacancies and defects will also increase. These factors are closely related to
the electric properties and should be considered carefully. While using
different sizes will result in various spring index when coiled, the changes in
structural properties such as stiffness and internal stress distribution will
provide ideas on further improving the performance.

 

Friction affects motion at any length
scale. Generally, it is governed by atomic-scale surface unevenness that
experience rise in pressure as they slide across each other within timeframe of
micro-seconds. Understanding how frictional forces at the atomic scale of CNT
under various external mechanical stresses and environmental conditions could
provide new insights for future improvement. For instance, in single-walled
nanotubes, microstructures such as defects and chirality will influence the
frictional forces. While MWNTs are used for this twistron harvester, whether
the factors mentioned above will affect interlayer dissipation in MWNTs are yet
to be thoroughly investigated. The physical phenomena that control the
relationship between friction and charge energy dissipation from the viewpoint
of nanoscale is still widely open for discussion. Finally, viewing the movement of charge transfer across CNT
by considering the size of single charge, it is actually a relatively long
distance for the charge to travel. If fully understood, this links the
ambiguity between nano and macro devices, creating new possibilities for
utilizing nanoscale principles and applying them to macroscale applications.
Not only limited to energy harvesting, technologies such as nanofluidic
channels, drug transport and impurities purification can also be developed
based on this twistron harvester’s concept.