Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystals Actuated by a Rotary Triboelectric Nanogenerator

Ko Ting Cheng, Hengyu Guo, Vincent K.S. Hsiao, Jr Hau He, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, polymer-dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs) under an applied electric field are actuated by a rotary triboelectric nanogenerator (r-TENG). Conventional PDLCs generally rely on high DC voltages for on-off switching, but they can also be effectively switched on and off using an moderate high AC voltage at a frequency of several kHz with a smaller voltage. Here, we use a simple r-TENG to study the optical states of PDLC cells at different low frequencies (2-100 Hz) and simultaneous monitoring of the open-circuit voltage (Voc) and short-circuit current (Isc) to describe the optical performance of PDLC cells with different thicknesses. The results show that the Isc, provided by a r-TENG with a low Voc (1-2V), inside a PDLC cell is the key factor that determines its performance. Through the application of the r-TENG, we successfully demonstrate the on-off switching of nine PDLC cells connected in series with an area of 15 ×15 mm, and the power consumption is equal to that of a single PDLC cell. This research expands the potential applications of TENGs in photonics and also provides a way to improve the optical properties of PDLCs by connecting TENGs to achieve optimal performance for PDLC-related optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369-1372
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2022


  • photonic devices
  • Polymer-dispersed liquid crystals
  • triboelectric nanogenerator


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