Nanoengineered nanochannels for thermally ionic nanofluidic energy harvesting

Nguyen Van Toan, Truong Thi Kim Tuoi, Naoki Inomata, Megat Muhammad Ikhsan Megat Hasnan, Masaya Toda, Ioana Voiculescu, Suhana Mohd Said, Takahito Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This work demonstrates thermal-to-electric energy conversion based on ionic nanofluidic transport in nanochannels inducted by a temperature gradient. Two types of highly periodic and high aspect ratio nanochannels have been fabricated in a silicon (Si) substrate and in an aluminium oxide (Al2O3) membrane. Silicon nanochannels with diameter of 100 nm and height of 300 μm have been produced by metal-assisted chemical etching process (MACE), while nanochannels with the dimensions of the 10 nm and 3 μm respectively, were fabricated in a Al2O3 membrane by the anodic aluminum oxidation (AAO) process. Moreover, a novel approach of thermally nanofluidic energy harvesting was proposed and conducted. The performance of the thermally ionic nanofluidic energy harvesting system in cases with and without nanochannels has been evaluated and compared. The advantage of the presence nanochannels on energy conversion has been confirmed. The electrolyte concentration dependence on the output power has been determined. Also, the effect of nanochannel materials, including alumina and silicon materials, on the power density has been verified. The ionic Seebeck coefficient was enhanced by 7.3 times when the nanochannels were present. The silicon substrate with nanochannels demonstrated the highest performance for energy harvesting. Its power density reaches approximately 1.47 mW/m2, which was 13.3 times larger than the case without nanochannels. This investigation may open new opportunities for the future thermoelectric generators based on ionic transport in nanochannels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115760
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 15


  • And metal-assisted chemical etching
  • Anodized aluminum oxide
  • Ionic thermoelectric materials
  • Nanofluidic transport in nanochannels
  • Thermal-to-electric energy conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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