Combination of a multi-junction solar cell and a dual-ion battery
The researchers developed a scalable method for the photo battery which allows them to manufacture organic solar cells out of five active layers. “The system achieves relatively high voltages of 4.2 volts with this solar cell,” explains Wessling. The team combined this multi-junction solar cell with a so-called dual-ion battery, which is capable of being charged at high currents, unlike the cathodes of conventional lithium batteries. With careful control of illumination intensity and discharge rates, a photo battery constructed in this way is capable of rapid charging in less than 15 minutes at discharge capacities of up to 22 milliampere hours per gram (mAh g-1). In combination with the averaged discharge potential of 3.6 volts, the devices can provide an energy density of 69 milliwatt hours per gram (mWh g-1) and a power density of 95 milliwatts per gram (mW g-1). “Our system thus lays the foundation for more in-depth research and further developments in the area of organic photo batteries,” says Wessling.
About the Cluster of Excellence livMatS
The vision of the Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive, and Energy-Autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS) is to combine the best of both worlds – nature and technology. livMatS develops lifelike materials systems inspired by nature. These systems adapt autonomously to their environment, harvest clean energy from their surroundings, and are insensitive to or able to recover from damage.