Energy harvesting

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water shortage not only occurs in arid regions, but also in humid area with little precipitation, despite abundant fog. Authors develop robust and scalable 3D centimetric kirigami structures to control wind flow and regulate the trajectories of incoming fog, yielding high fog collection efficiency.

    • Jing Li
    • , Ranjiangshang Ran
    •  & Shu Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    TENG suffers from two fundamental limitations: high output impedance and low charge transfer. Herein, these limitations are circumvented by leveraging the opposite-charge-enhancement effect and transistor-like device design, thereby achieving the instantaneous power density over 10 MW/m2 at the low frequency of ~ 1 Hz.

    • Hao Wu
    • , Steven Wang
    •  & Yunlong Zi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Moisture-induced energy generation is a potential green energy power source. Here, the authors report a moisture-induced autonomous surface potential oscillation phenomenon and apply it to the demonstration of energy harvesters with long persistence time and good energy density

    • Yu Long
    • , Peisheng He
    •  & Liwei Lin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Non-fullerene acceptors based on non-fused conjugated structures have potential for realizing low-cost organic photovoltaic cells, owing to its synthetic simplicity. Here, the authors develop a non-fused molecule with a three-dimensional interpenetrating network and compact π-π stacking, which is highly suitable for PV applications.

    • Lijiao Ma
    • , Shaoqing Zhang
    •  & Jianhui Hou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Common photovoltaic effect is across the interface of heterojunctions. Here, the authors find that scanning a light beam can induce a persistent in-plane photoelectric voltage along silicon-water interfaces, due to the following movement of a charge packet in the vicinity of the silicon surface.

    • Jidong Li
    • , Yuyang Long
    •  & Jun Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High temperature usually decreases the output of triboelectric nanogenerator because of the increased dissipation of triboelectric charges. Here, the authors design and fabricate a temperature difference triboelectric nanogenerator to enhance the electrical output in high temperature environment.

    • Bolang Cheng
    • , Qi Xu
    •  & Yong Qin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Appropriate triboelectric material selection is vital to for high performance direct current triboelectric nanogenerator (DC-TENG). The authors here provide effective selection rules as guideline to select triboelectric materials for DC-TENG to reduce the trial-and-error cost for DC-TENG’s research.

    • Zhihao Zhao
    • , Linglin Zhou
    •  & Zhong Lin Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A semiconductor thermionic device, which utilises thermally excited electrons, is considered as an alternative in solar conversion technology, yet its working mechanism is not clear. Here, the authors reveal that whether such a device operates in the photon enhanced or purely thermionic mode, greatly depends on the material properties and device physics.

    • Ehsanur Rahman
    •  & Alireza Nojeh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-powered implantable devices have the potential to extend device operation, though current energy harvesters are both insufficient and inconvenient. Here the authors report on a commercial coin battery-sized high-performance inertia-driven triboelectric nanogenerator based on body motion and gravity that can be used to charge a lithium-ion battery and integrated into a cardiac pacemaker.

    • Hanjun Ryu
    • , Hyun-moon Park
    •  & Sang-Woo Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Authors demonstrate Si-based MIS photoanodes using Al thin-film reactions to create localized conduction paths through the insulator and Ni electrodeposition to form metal catalyst islands. These approaches yielded low onset potential, high saturation current density, and excellent stability.

    • Soonil Lee
    • , Li Ji
    •  & Edward T. Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Energy harvesting devices based on micro-electromechanisms (MEMS) is attractive for sustainable energy applications. Here, the authors report the theoretical working principle of a lightweight, low-voltage AC-current generating MEMS-based capacitive rotor device for Watts-level power generation from everyday walking.

    • Ehud Haimov
    • , Aidan Chapman
    •  & Alexei A. Kornyshev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It remains a challenge to achieve a balance between performance and stability, as well as addressing the environmental impact of perovskite solar cells. Here, the authors propose a multimodal host-guest complexation strategy enabling these shortcomings to be addressed simultaneously.

    • Hong Zhang
    • , Felix Thomas Eickemeyer
    •  & Michael Grätzel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rectenna, which consist of a microscale antenna, combined with a rectifying diode, have great potential in energy harvesting, however, achieving high responsivity and low resistance is extremely difficult. Here, the authors demonstrate a metal-insulator-insulator metal diode which overcomes these limitations.

    • Amina Belkadi
    • , Ayendra Weerakkody
    •  & Garret Moddel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nguyen et al. take a fresh look at Tesla’s concept of an asymmetric fluidic conduit. They show that for alternating flow at high frequencies the device can almost be operated as a diode, enabled by a transition to turbulent-like flow at rather low Reynolds numbers.

    • Quynh M. Nguyen
    • , Joanna Abouezzi
    •  & Leif Ristroph
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Solar steam water purification and fog collection are two independent processes that could enable abundant fresh water generation. Here, the authors develop a hydrogel membrane that contains microstructures and combines both functions and serves as an all-day fresh water harvester.

    • Ye Shi
    • , Ognjen Ilic
    •  & Julia R. Greer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Piezoelectric materials which are non-toxic and eco-friendly are of interest. Here, the authors report on the creation of collagen-mimetic peptides which can be self-assembled into piezoelectric materials and study the design characteristics required for optimized power generation.

    • Santu Bera
    • , Sarah Guerin
    •  & Ehud Gazit
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mixed halide perovskite undergoes halide segregation under illumination, which impairs its functionality as solar cells. Bobbert et al. present a unified thermodynamic theory to explain the phase separation behaviour that takes into account both ground state compositional and electronic part of free energy in the presence of photocarriers.

    • Zehua Chen
    • , Geert Brocks
    •  & Peter A. Bobbert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is difficult to achieve high current density and long lifetime for micro generators owing to the common friction and wear. Here the authors invent a microscale Schottky superlubric generator to tackle this issue, reporting not only high current and power densities but also long lifetime of at least 5,000 cycles.

    • Xuanyu Huang
    • , Xiaojian Xiang
    •  & Quanshui Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though energy-harvesting wearable systems have been reported in the literature, their system design imposes limitations that hinder their overall performance. Here, the authors report a system-level wearable e-textile microgrid system that relies solely on human activity for energy harvesting.

    • Lu Yin
    • , Kyeong Nam Kim
    •  & Joseph Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding ultrafast dynamics of photon-to-charge conversion is paramount for optimising light-harvesting systems. Here, the authors use femtosecond time-resolved X-ray photoemission spectroscopy to reveal specific charge separation sites and monitor free charge formation in a model donor-acceptor system.

    • Friedrich Roth
    • , Mario Borgwardt
    •  & Wolfgang Eberhardt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Materials that can harvest electromagnetic (EM) waves and harness the resulting energy would have many applications. Here, the authors present a hybrid composite that produces thermoelectricity from the heating in the EM absorption under microwave radiation.

    • Hualiang Lv
    • , Zhihong Yang
    •  & Renbing Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ubiquitous shadows cast from moving objects in hybrid energy-harvesting systems are undesirable as they degrade the performance of the photovoltaic cells. Here the authors report the shadow of the moving object in a hybrid energy-harvesting system shortens charging time to charge a self-charging power system.

    • Qian Zhang
    • , Qijie Liang
    •  & Swee Ching Tan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient and stable perovskite solar cells with simple active layers are desirable for manufacturing, yet formation of a two-dimensional component in the perovskite film compromises the performance. Here, the authors report low temperature fabrication of highly efficient and stable inverted solar cells by adding a fluorinated lead salt.

    • Xiao Wang
    • , Kasparas Rakstys
    •  & Paul E. Shaw
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Controlling ion transport in nanofluidics is fundamental to numerous material applications but designing a material for ion selection is challenging. Here the authors report a confined van der Waals graphene oxide membrane as cation selective channel for energy generation inspired by neuron electromotive force.

    • Sungsoon Kim
    • , Sangjin Choi
    •  & Wooyoung Shim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Increasing the surface charge density of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) under a single energy source is of wide interest. Here, the authors increase the surface charge density by comprehensively utilizing solar energy and tidal energy to develop a bioinspired photoelectric-electromechanical integrated TENG.

    • Sicheng Liu
    • , Xi Liu
    •  & Zhuangzhi Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the potential of incorporating thermoelectric (TE) fibers into textile electronics for green energy harvesting, existing fabrication methods are not commercially viable. Here, the authors report a scalable gelation extrusion fabrication strategy for realizing alternating p/n-type TE fibers.

    • Tianpeng Ding
    • , Kwok Hoe Chan
    •  & Ghim Wei Ho
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Non-fullerene acceptors are crucial for realising efficient charge transport and high power conversion in organic solar cells, yet the relationship of molecular packing and carrier transport is not well-understood. Here, the authors study the effect of side-chain engineering on the backbone assembly and the corresponding charge transport pathway.

    • Linglong Ye
    • , Kangkang Weng
    •  & Yanming Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though flexible thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are attractive for energy harvesting applications, existing devices show low efficiency due to heat loss and poor thermal contact. Here, the authors report high-performance conformable TEGs with stretchable interconnects and soft heat conductors.

    • Byeongmoon Lee
    • , Hyeon Cho
    •  & Seungjun Chung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The performance of perovskite solar cells can be limited by light absorption loss in organic charge extraction layers, through which sun light must propagate before reaching the perovskite. Here, the authors demonstrate that efficient energy transfer to the perovskite layer from a thin organic layer is able to eliminate this parasitic loss.

    • Hannah J. Eggimann
    • , Jay B. Patel
    •  & Laura M. Herz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Designing efficient sensors for smart tires for autonomous vehicles remains a challenge. Here, the authors present a tire-integrated system that combines direct mask-less 3D printed strain gauges, flexible piezoelectric energy harvester for powering the sensors and secure wireless data transfer electronics, and machine learning for predictive data analysis.

    • Deepam Maurya
    • , Seyedmeysam Khaleghian
    •  & Shashank Priya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adsorption-based heat transfer devices are attractive for clean energy resources, but those using water as the working fluid require suitable water adsorbents. Here the authors use computation and experiment to develop an aluminum-based metal-organic framework adsorbent for adsorption-driven heat transfer devices.

    • Kyung Ho Cho
    • , D. Damasceno Borges
    •  & Jong-San Chang
  • Article
    | 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
    •  & Chengkuo Lee
  • Article
    | 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
    •  & Mark Lee
  • Article
    | 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
    •  & Sheng Shen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Designing high-performance photodetectors based on hybrid perovskites remains a challenge. Here, the authors demonstrate that Al2O3/2D perovskite heterostructure can be utilized as photoactive dielectric for high-performance MoS2 phototransistors with broadband photoresponse, high photogain and reliability operation.

    • Jiayang Jiang
    • , Xuming Zou
    •  & Lei Liao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Conventionally, triboelectric nanogenerators are based on static charges fixed on dielectric surfaces. Here, the authors report a new mechanism using shuttling of mirror charge carriers corralled in quasi-symmetrical conduction domains, which boosts performance for blue energy harvesting.

    • Huamei Wang
    • , Liang Xu
    •  & Zhong Lin Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Miniaturizing efficient triboelectric nanogenerators remains a challenge. Here, the authors propose a MEMS-based micro triboelectric device for acoustic energy transfer and signal communication which is capable of generating the voltage signal of 16.8 mV and 12.7 mV through oil and sound-attenuation medium respectively with 63kPa at 1 MHz ultrasound input.

    • Chen Chen
    • , Zhen Wen
    •  & Xuhui Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Most of the energy harvesting principles are realized in heated-continuously systems. Here, the authors present a concept of high-frequency energy harvesting where the dissipated heat in a sample excites resonant magnons in a ferromagnetic metal layer.

    • Michal Kobecki
    • , Alexey V. Scherbakov
    •  & Manfred Bayer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current triboelectric fibers suffer from complex fabrication schemes and relatively poor performance. Here the authors use a highly scalable thermal drawing process to make soft and resilient micro-structured triboelectric fibers and textiles with applications both as sensors and energy harvesters.

    • Chaoqun Dong
    • , Andreas Leber
    •  & Fabien Sorin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The presence of strong inter-layer interactions has hindered the synthesis efforts towards large-area and highly crystalline monolayer SnS. Here, the authors report synthesis of large-area monolayer SnS using a liquid metal-based technique, and fabricate piezoelectric nano-generators with average peak output voltage of 150 mV at 0.7% strain.

    • Hareem Khan
    • , Nasir Mahmood
    •  & Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh