Silicon Nanowire/Polymer Hybrid Solar Cell-Supercapacitor: A Self-Charging Power Unit with a Total Efficiency of 10.5%


An integrated self-charging power unit, combining a hybrid silicon nanowire/polymer heterojunction solar cell with a polypyrrole-based supercapacitor, has been demonstrated to simultaneously harvest solar energy and store it. By efficiency enhancement of the hybrid nanowire solar cells and a dual-functional titanium film serving as conjunct electrode of the solar cell and supercapacitor, the integrated system is able to yield a total photoelectric conversion to storage efficiency of 10.5%, which is the record value in all the integrated solar energy conversion and storage system. This system may not only serve as a buffer that diminishes the solar power fluctuations from light intensity, but also pave its way toward cost-effective high efficiency self-charging power unit. Finally, an integrated device based on ultrathin Si substrate is demonstrated to expand its feasibility and potential application in flexible energy conversion and storage devices.