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Hybrid Energy Cell with Hierarchical Nano/Micro-Architectured Polymer Film to Harvest Mechanical, Solar, and Wind Energies Individually/Simultaneously

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posted on 19.10.2016, 00:00 authored by Bhaskar Dudem, Yeong Hwan Ko, Jung Woo Leem, Joo Ho Lim, Jae Su Yu
We report the creation of hybrid energy cells based on hierarchical nano/micro-architectured polydimethylsiloxane (HNMA-PDMS) films with multifunctionality to simultaneously harvest mechanical, solar, and wind energies. These films consist of nano/micro dual-scale architectures (i.e., nanonipples on inverted micropyramidal arrays) on the PDMS surface. The HNMA-PDMS is replicable by facile and cost-effective soft imprint lithography using a nanoporous anodic alumina oxide film formed on the micropyramidal-structured silicon substrate. The HNMA-PDMS film plays multifunctional roles as a triboelectric layer in nanogenerators and an antireflection layer for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), as well as a self-cleaning surface. This film is employed in triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) devices, fabricated by laminating it on indium–tin oxide-coated polyethylene terephthalate (ITO/PET) as a bottom electrode. The large effective contact area that emerged from the densely packed hierarchical nano/micro-architectures of the PDMS film leads to the enhancement of TENG device performance. Moreover, the HNMA-PDMS/ITO/PET, with a high transmittance of >90%, also results in highly transparent TENG devices. By placing the HNMA-PDMS/ITO/PET, where the ITO/PET is coated with zinc oxide nanowires, as the top glass substrate of DSSCs, the device is able to add the functionality of TENG devices, thus creating a hybrid energy cell. The hybrid energy cell can successfully convert mechanical, solar, and wind energies into electricity, simultaneously or independently. To specify the device performance, the effects of external pushing frequency and load resistance on the output of TENG devices are also analyzed, including the photovoltaic performance of the hybrid energy cells.