Nanowire Structured Hybrid Cell for Concurrently Scavenging Solar and Mechanical Energies

Chen Xu, Xudong Wang, Zhong Lin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Conversion cells for harvesting solar energy and mechanical energy are usually separate and independent entities that are designed and built following different physical principles. Developing a technology that harvests multiple-type energies in forms such as sun light and mechanical around the clock is desperately desired for fully utilizing the energies available in our living environment. We report a hybrid cell that is intended for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on surfaces of a flat substrate, a dye-sensitized solar cell is integrated with a piezoelectric nanogenerator. The former harvests solar energy irradiating on the top, and the latter harvests ultrasonic wave energy from the surrounding. The two energy harvesting approaches can work simultaneously or individually, and they can be integrated in parallel and serial for raising the output current and voltage, respectively, as well as power. It is found that the voltage output from the solar cell can be used to raise the output voltage of the nanogenerator, providing an effective approach for effectively storing and utilizing the power generated by the nanogenerator. Our study demonstrates a new approach for concurrently harvesting multiple types of energies using an integrated hybrid cell so that the energy resources can be effectively and complementary utilized whenever and wherever one or all of them is available. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5866-5872
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 29 2009
Externally publishedYes


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