​Dr. Gan Wee Chen and Students Publish in SCI Tier 1 Journal


The Research Management Center congratulates undergraduate Jason Koay Soon Chye and Assistant Professor Dr. Gan Wee Chen from Department of New Engineering Science and Engineering (NESE), School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, on publishing a research article entitled “An Overlapped Electron-Cloud Model for the Contact Electrification in Piezo-Assisted Triboelectric Nanogenerators via Control of Piezoelectric Polarization”, as first author and corresponding author, respectively. This paper was published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A, a SCI Tier 1 journal with an impact factor of 11.09.

Graduates Soh Arn Er and Cheong Jian Ye from NESE have been named as co-authors due to their significant contributions through experimental works in their final year project under Dr. Gan’s supervision. This work is an international collaborative research effort with Dr. Kean C. Aw from University of Auckland and Dr. Thamil Selvi Velayutham from University Malaya.

This manuscript discusses the effect of piezoelectric polarization of P(VDF-TrFE) on enhanced piezo-assisted TENG (P-TENG), which is supported by a modified version of the overlapped electron cloud (OEC) model. The modified OEC model explained the enhancement of electrical output in P-TENGs by a favored polarization state of P(VDF-TrFE) for the very first time in this work, and successfully addressed the limitations of the conventional surface states model. The surface states model was found to be incompetent for providing a better picture in elucidating the mechanism polymer-polymer contact electrification and failed to serve its purpose especially when triboelectric-piezoelectric polymers are used. With the modified OEC model, a fundamental insight on how interface charges induced by the piezoelectric polarization of P(VDF-TrFE) generate an intrinsic electric field, Ep, has been successfully provided, thus shifting its molecular orbitals’ potential energy, leading to a tunable quantity of charge-transfer between two surfaces. It also supports the experimental results, showing a reliable method of enhancing power output in a P-TENG by tuning the piezoelectric polarization to a favored state.


Jason Koay Soon Chye, who is currently in his final year of study, expressed his thoughts on writing this paper:

“I would like to thank Dr. Gan for offering me this opportunity to work in his lab and co-author a paper even though I was still a fresh-faced Year 2 student at the time of this offer. The process of working in the laboratory and exchanging ideas with my seniors and Dr. Gan is very satisfying. In addition, doing research and writing a scientific journal enabled me to study more efficiently, as I was able to grasp the main points more easily after the “training” in the lab. Hence, I would strongly encourage juniors to join NESE laboratories early to benefit from the welcoming and professional academic team, as well as the inspiring environment which will spark one’s interests for research and further studies.”

Dr. Gan, who provided a lot of guidance throughout this work, offered his advice to XMUM undergraduates:

“Research requires passion, patient and persistence. Hard work will pay off.”

This paper is available online: https://doi.org/10.1039/D0TA09506K

The research team: (from left) Koh Yan An, Cheong Jian Ye, Soh Arn Er, Daniel Ong Tze Kheng, Jason Koay Soon Chye, Dr. Gan Wee Chen

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