Harvesting solar energy at extremely harsh environments is of practical interest for building a self-powered harsh electronic system. However, working at high temperature and radiative environments adversely affects the performance of conventional solar cells. To improve the performance, GaN-based multiple quantum wells (MQWs) are introduced into the solar cells. The implementation of MQWs enables improved efficiency (+0.52%/K) and fill factor (+0.35%/K) with elevated temperature and shows excellent reliability under high-temperature operation. In addition, the GaN-based solar cell exhibits superior radiation robustness (lifetime >30 years under solar storm proton irradiation) due to their strong atomic bonding and direct-bandgap characteristics. This solar cell employing MQW nanostructures provides valuable routes for future developments in self-powered harsh electronics.
Graphene dots (GDs) are used for enhancing the performance of the poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS)-based counter electrodes in Pt-free dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). As compared to PEDOT:PSS CEs, GD-PEDOT:PSS films possess a rough surface morphology, high conductivity and electrocatalytic activity, and low charge-transfer resistance toward I/I redox reaction, pushing cell efficiency to 7.36%, which is 43% higher than that of the cell with PEDOT:PSS CEs (5.14%). Without much impact on efficiency, the DSSCs with GD-PEDOT:PSS CEs work well under low-light conditions (light intensity <13.5mWcm and angle of incidence >60°), such as indoor and low-level outdoor lighting and of the sun while the other traditional cells would fail to work. The concurrent advantage in low cost in Pt-free materials, simple fabrication processes, comparable efficiency with Pt CEs, and high performance under low-light conditions makes the DSSC with GD-PEDOT:PSS CEs suitable to harvest light for a diverse range of indoor and low-level outdoor lighting locations.
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