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Issue 11, 2011
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Control of naturally coupled piezoelectric and photovoltaic properties for multi-type energy scavengers

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Abstract

In this paper, we present a simple, low-cost and flexible hybrid cell that converts individually or simultaneously low-frequency mechanical energy and photon energy into electricity using piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO) in conjunction with organic solar cell design. Since the hybrid cell is designed by coupled piezoelectric and photoconductive properties of ZnO, this is a naturally hybrid architecture without crosstalk and an additional assembling process to create multi-type energy scavengers, thus differing from a simple integration of two different energy generators. It is demonstrated that the behavior of a piezoelectric output is controlled from alternating current (AC) type to direct current (DC)-like type by tailoring mechanical straining processes both in the dark and under light illumination. Based on such controllability of output modes, it is shown that the performance of the hybrid cell is synergistically enhanced by integrating the contribution made by a piezoelectric generator with a solar cell under a normal indoor level of illumination. Our approach clearly demonstrates the potential of the hybrid approach for scavenging multi-type energies whenever and wherever they are available. Furthermore, this work establishes the methodology to harvest solar energy and low-frequency mechanical energies such as body movements, making it possible to produce a promising multi-functional power generator that could be embedded in flexible architectures.

Graphical abstract: Control of naturally coupled piezoelectric and photovoltaic properties for multi-type energy scavengers

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Submitted
05 Jul 2011
Accepted
12 Aug 2011
First published
15 Sep 2011

Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 4607-4613
Article type
Paper

Control of naturally coupled piezoelectric and photovoltaic properties for multi-type energy scavengers

D. Choi, K. Y. Lee, M. Jin, S. Ihn, S. Yun, X. Bulliard, W. Choi, S. Y. Lee, S. Kim, J. Choi, J. M. Kim and Z. L. Wang, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 4607
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02080C

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