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Integrating a Silicon Solar Cell with a Triboelectric Nanogenerator via a Mutual Electrode for Harvesting Energy from Sunlight and Raindrops

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journal contribution
posted on 14.02.2018 by Yuqiang Liu, Na Sun, Jiawei Liu, Zhen Wen, Xuhui Sun, Shuit-Tong Lee, Baoquan Sun
Solar cells, as promising devices for converting light into electricity, have a dramatically reduced performance on rainy days. Here, an energy harvesting structure that integrates a solar cell and a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) device is built to realize power generation from both sunlight and raindrops. A heterojunction silicon (Si) solar cell is integrated with a TENG by a mutual electrode of a poly­(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly­(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) film. Regarding the solar cell, imprinted PEDOT:PSS is used to reduce light reflection, which leads to an enhanced short-circuit current density. A single-electrode-mode water-drop TENG on the solar cell is built by combining imprinted polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a triboelectric material combined with a PEDOT:PSS layer as an electrode. The increasing contact area between the imprinted PDMS and water drops greatly improves the output of the TENG with a peak short-circuit current of ∼33.0 nA and a peak open-circuit voltage of ∼2.14 V, respectively. The hybrid energy harvesting system integrated electrode configuration can combine the advantages of high current level of a solar cell and high voltage of a TENG device, promising an efficient approach to collect energy from the environment in different weather conditions.