Controlling the shape, geometry, density, and orientation of nanomaterials is critical to fabricate functional devices. However, there is limited control over the morphological and directional characteristics of presynthesized nanomaterials, which makes them unsuitable for developing devices for practical applications. Here, we address this challenge by demonstrating vertically aligned and polarized piezoelectric nanostructures from presynthesized biological piezoelectric nanofibers, M13 phage, with control over the orientation, polarization direction, microstructure morphology, and density using genetic engineering and template-assisted self-assembly process. The resulting vertically ordered structures exhibit strong unidirectional polarization with three times higher piezoelectric constant values than that of in-plane aligned structures, supported by second harmonic generation and piezoelectric force microscopy measurements. The resulting vertically self-assembled phage-based piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH) produces up to 2.8 V of potential, 120 nA of current, and 236 nW of power upon 17 N of force. In addition, five phage-based PEH integrated devices produce an output voltage of 12 V and an output current of 300 nA, simply by pressing with a finger. The resulting device can operate light-emitting diode backlights on a liquid crystal display. Our approach will be useful for assembling many other presynthesized nanomaterials into high-performance devices for various applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering