Transparent Solar Cells
Transparent photovoltaic (TPV) is a unique technology for the utilizing of sunlight. It can not only convert the light to electricity but also provide a bright natural light environment. The unique advantages of the TPV offer great potential for applications in smart windows on buildings, vehicles, and greenhouses. On one hand, the TPV is an effective approach to generate electrical power. Assuming a TPV module power efficiency of 10%, the total potential of TPV-based windows is conservatively estimated as 8000 TWh/yr (0.9 TW), or nearly 10% of the total electricity generation of China. On another hand, the TPV can provide an ideal choice to meet the aesthetic demands in the invisible self-powered devices.
Our research is focusing on the development of highly transparent efficient TPVs. By balancing efficiency and transparency, the average visible transmission (AVT) can achieve up to 85% which exceeds the transparency of the double-glazed glass in the buildings. Meanwhile, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) can achieve over 5% (the theoretical value is ~ 11% when considering all reasonable optical losses). The flexible property of the devices is also be considered in the research.
The artificial photosynthesis system based on semiconductor-non-photosynthetic bacteria has great application potential in water splitting, carbon dioxide fixation, and biosynthesis since this hybrid system has both natural photosynthesis's self-reproduction and regeneration characteristics and the broad absorption spectrum of artificially synthesized semiconductor materials. Currently, most of the reported semiconductor-non-photosynthetic bacteria artificial photosynthesis systems combine extracellular semiconductor materials with the surface of bacteria. The photogenerated electrons from the semiconductor materials must pass across the cell membrane to activate the hydrogenase inside the cell. Active sites with hydrogenase enable the conversion of carbon dioxide to multi-carbon products.
We synthesized InP quantum dots with low biological toxicity, obtained hydrophilic quantum dots through ligand exchange, and then transferred them into the cells of non-photosynthetic bacteria. We found that the hybrid artificial photosynthesis system based on InP quantum dots-non-photosynthetic bacteria hybrid system can efficiently convert carbon dioxide into acetate. The intracellular direct transfer of photogenerated electrons reduces energy consumption across the cell membrane, which is essential to improving the light utilization efficiency of the artificial photosynthesis system.
Fiber Solar Cells