Ferroelectric materials have attracted interest for over a hundred years as a result of their spontaneous polarization and a polarization orientation that can be reversed by the application of an external electric field. In addition, the degree of polarization can be affected by external stimuli such as vibrations, stress, heat, and light. These properties enable ferroelectric materials to be used to fabricate nanogenerators, which are devices used in energy scavenging applications and provide an opportunity to obtain electrical energy from a variety of external stimuli. This review discusses the development of ferroelectric-based nanogenerators for scavenging mechanical, thermal, and solar energies through the piezoelectric effect, pyroelectric effect, and photovoltaic effect, respectively. The mechanisms of the effects and the pathways to optimize the output performance of the nanogenerators are analyzed in detail. Recent developments in energy harvesting using ferroelectric materials are discussed with the objective to motivate attention and efforts in this growing field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100905
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number25
Early online date1 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021


  • ferroelectric
  • ferroelectric photovoltaics
  • nanogenerators
  • piezoelectric
  • pyroelectric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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