(Reporter: Dr. Guangzhi Dong from School of Materials Science and Engineering)
Recently, Mr. Xiaohu Ren, a Ph. D. student of Professor Huiqing Fan’s group at Northwestern Polytechnical University, developed a novel nano-generator to achieve the efficient collection and conversion of weak wind energy. The paper entitled “Wind energy harvester based on coaxial rotatory freestanding triboelectric nanogenerators for self-powered water splitting” is published on Nano Energy (IF=13.120, 2018, Volume 50, Pages 562-570. DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.06.002)
Harvesting energy from our living environment for electrolytic water splitting is a cost-effective technology for mass production of H2. Here, a coaxial rotatory freestanding triboelectric nanogenerator (CRF-TENG) wind energy harvester was demonstrated, in which the electrospinning PVDF nanofibrous membrane served as triboelectric material. And then a fully self-powered water splitting system for hydrogen production was presented based on the CRF-TENG. By scavenging ambient wind energy, the generated electricity is used for water splitting to produce H2, instead of the external power source.
Fig. 1. (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication processes of the CRF-TENG wind energy harvester. (b) SEM image of the PVDF nanofiber membrane surface. (c) The enlarge image of the PVDF nanofiber membrane surface. (d) The digital photograph of the CRF-TENG wind energy harvester.
Fig. 2 Schematic diagram of self-supplying electrolysis hydrogen production system based on this friction nano-generator.
For developing the new solar cells, Dr. Weijia Wang at Professor Huiqing Fan’s group in Northwestern Polytechnical University, studied the influence of solvent additives on the nano structure and crystallinity of the active layer of organic solar cells cooperated with Technische Universität München and Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, Outstation at MLZ, Garching, Germany. The paper entitled “Influence of Solvent Additive 1,8-Octanedithiol on P3HT:PCBM Solar Cells” is published on Advanced Functional Materials (IF=13.325, 2018, Volume 28, Page 1800209. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201870130).
Fig. 3 Example of 2D TOF-GISANS data of P3HT:PCBM films processed in the novel solar cells.
Fig. 4 Schematic representations of P3HT:PCBM films without ODT and with ODT concentrations of 1–7 and 9 vol%.
The research group of Prof. Huiqing Fan on Electronic Information Materials at School of Materials Science and Engineering in Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China, is now focusing on the fabrication of new materials for clean energy technology by designing novel nano-generator and flexible organic solar cell. Ambient mechanical energy and clear solar energy are all the most abundant energy sources around us. Therefore, it is a promising approach to solve the problem of energy and environment by harvesting such energy due to its cost-effectiveness, environmental friendliness and sustainability.