A Monolithic Silicon-Mesoporous Carbon Photosupercapacitor with High Overall Photoconversion Efficiency
Off-grid devices require autonomous power supply systems that can be achieved via coupling a solar cell with a supercapacitor in one integrated multifunctional device that is able to harvest energy from the environment, store, and release it on demand. Herein, a straight-forward approach is proposed to realize a monolithic photosupercapacitor rechargeable under illumination by integrating a silicon (Si) solar cell with an electrochemical double-layer capacitor (EDLC) based on mesoporous N-doped carbon nanospheres (MPNC) in a three-electrode configuration, i.e., via a shared electrode. The optimized porous structure of the MPNC-EDLC electrodes results in a high storage efficiency of 95% and a superior performance compared to an activated carbon based EDLC. When monolithically integrated with a highly compatible and technologically robust Si solar cell in a photosupercapacitor, fast charging up to 0.63 V (2.5 V for a module of four photosupercapacitors connected in series) in less than 5 s is attained even under weak illumination conditions, with an outstanding peak overall efficiency of 11.8%. These results show high potential toward the development of photorechargeable and decentralized power sources for deployed smart electronic devices.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft -DFG-, Bonn