Devices for energy harvesting

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    An air gap embedded within the structure of a thermophotovoltaic device acts as a near-perfect reflector of low-energy photons, resulting in their recovery and recycling by the thermal source, enabling excellent power-conversion efficiency.

    • Dejiu Fan
    • , Tobias Burger
    • , Sean McSherry
    • , Byungjun Lee
    • , Andrej Lenert
    •  & Stephen R. Forrest
    Nature, 1-5
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Designing efficient and fast monitoring and response systems for smart building/home applications remains a challenge. Here, the authors propose a smart floor monitoring system developed through the integration of self-powered triboelectric sensing mechanism and deep learning data analytics.

    • Qiongfeng Shi
    • , Zixuan Zhang
    • , Tianyiyi He
    • , Zhongda Sun
    • , Bingjie Wang
    • , Yuqin Feng
    • , Xuechuan Shan
    • , Budiman Salam
    •  & Chengkuo Lee
  • Research |

    Outdoor field testing is crucial to understand how solar cells behave under operational conditions. Here, Aydin et al. show that a lower perovskite bandgap than that calculated at laboratory standard test conditions enhances the performance of perovskite/silicon tandem cells in the field.

    • Erkan Aydin
    • , Thomas G. Allen
    • , Michele De Bastiani
    • , Lujia Xu
    • , Jorge Ávila
    • , Michael Salvador
    • , Emmanuel Van Kerschaver
    •  & Stefaan De Wolf
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Thermoelectric generators with a small size are unable to produce enough high voltage and power levels to run Si integrated circuits using commonly encountered temperature differences. Here, the authors present microelectronic thermoelectric generators using Si0.97Ge0.03 to solve the problem.

    • Ruchika Dhawan
    • , Prabuddha Madusanka
    • , Gangyi Hu
    • , Jeff Debord
    • , Toan Tran
    • , Kenneth Maggio
    • , Hal Edwards
    •  & Mark Lee
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors present a dual-mode solid state thermal rectification effect using a heterogeneous irradiated-pristine polyethylene nanofiber junction as a nanoscale thermal diode, in which heat flow can be rectified in both directions by changing the working temperature.

    • Ramesh Shrestha
    • , Yuxuan Luan
    • , Xiao Luo
    • , Sunmi Shin
    • , Teng Zhang
    • , Phil Smith
    • , Wei Gong
    • , Michael Bockstaller
    • , Tengfei Luo
    • , Renkun Chen
    • , Kedar Hippalgaonkar
    •  & Sheng Shen
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Intermediate band solar cells have the ability to reach efficiencies similar to multijunction cells using a single semiconductor junction. Here, enhanced two-photon carrier generation is demonstrated on a silicon substrate in an InGaN/GaN quantum dot-in-nanowire heterostructure intermediate band solar cell.

    • Ross Cheriton
    • , Sharif M. Sadaf
    • , Luc Robichaud
    • , Jacob J. Krich
    • , Zetian Mi
    •  & Karin Hinzer

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Keeping track of the rapidly improving solar cell performance is not as easy as it seems. Martin Green describes the Solar Cell Efficiency Tables that have been providing regular updates of the record solar cell performance since the 1990s.

    • Martin A. Green
  • News and Views |

    The compressive buckling of lithographically defined, two-dimensional patterns can create three-dimensional piezoelectric microsystems with a range of potential applications.

    • Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani
    •  & Michael C. McAlpine
  • News and Views |

    Efficient conversion of low-grade heat into useful power is a challenge. A new approach using magnetocaloric materials and a pretzel-like magnetic field topology offers a simple way of generating electrical power from heat with improved efficiency.

    • A. M. Rowe
    Nature Energy 4, 12-13
  • Comments and Opinion
    | Open Access

    When translating photovoltaic technology from laboratory to commercial products, low cost, high power conversion efficiency, and high stability (long lifetime) are the three key metrics to consider in addition to other factors, such as low toxicity, low energy payback time, etc. As one of the most promising photovoltaic materials with high efficiency, today organic–inorganic metal halide perovskites draw tremendous attention from fundamental research, but their practical relevance still remains unclear owing to the notorious short device operation time. In this comment, we discuss the stability issue of perovskite photovoltaics and call for standardized protocols for device characterizations that could possibly match the silicon industrial standards.

    • Lei Meng
    • , Jingbi You
    •  & Yang Yang
  • News and Views |

    Biological photovoltaic devices (BPVs) use photosynthetic microorganisms to produce electricity, but low photocurrent generation impedes their application. Now, a micro-scale flow-based BPV system is reported with power density outputs similar to that of large-scale biofuels.

    • Matteo Grattieri
    •  & Shelley D. Minteer
    Nature Energy 3, 8-9