Dragoslav Grbovic, Sebastian Osswald
Using MEMS bimaterial structures to build highly efficient solar energy generators. This is a novel approach that utilizes developments in the area of bimaterial sensors and applies them in the field of solar energy harvesting.
Harvesting energy from the sun offers clean solutions to growing energy challenges and can help decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, particularly foreign oil. Solar power is also the preferred candidate for powering autonomous systems, such as sensors and actuators in remote areas. However, in order to meet the demanding energy needs of modern devices, high solar conversion efficiencies are required.
Conventional solar cell technologies suffer from low efficiencies and are spectrum-dependent. State-of-the-art multi-junction solar cells employ a variety of layered materials in order to broaden the range of photoactive wavelengths. This significantly complicates microfabrication and the devices become economically unfeasible for commercial applications. The ideal solution would be a solar device that is spectrum-insensitive and converts a large fraction of the incident solar radiation into electricity.
For more information, contact Dragoslav Grbovic at email@example.com
Claudia C. Luhrs
Energy storage devices are key components needed to retain energy harvested from wind and solar sources, or to supply energy for applications such as transportable electrical and electronic devices. Supercapacitors, also known as electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC), represent one type of such devices, which use is crucial anywhere there is a demand of energy to be supplied with reliability and without major disruptions or fluctuations. Despite advances in supercapacitor developments in recent years, in particular related to the use of graphene and other high surface area carbonaceous materials, more fundamental knowledge is required in order to fine tune or tailor their carbon electrode characteristics, surface groups included, for an optimal performance.