Nanowire Structured Hybrid Cell for Concurrently Scavenging Solar and Mechanical Energies


Xu, Chen
Wang, Xudong
Wang, Zhong Lin


Conversion cells for harvesting solar energy and mechanical energy are usually separate and independent entities that are designed and built following different physical principles. Developing a technology that harvests multiple-type energies in forms such as sun light and mechanical around the clock is desperately desired for fully utilizing the energies available in our living environment. We report a hybrid cell that is intended for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on surfaces of a flat substrate, a dye-sensitized solar cell is integrated with a piezoelectric nanogenerator. The former harvests solar energy irradiating on the top, and the latter harvests ultrasonic wave energy from the surrounding. The two energy harvesting approaches can work simultaneously or individually, and they can be integrated in parallel and serial for raising the output current and voltage, respectively, as well as power. It is found that the voltage output from the solar cell can be used to raise the output voltage of the nanogenerator, providing an effective approach for effectively storing and utilizing the power generated by the nanogenerator. Our study demonstrates a new approach for concurrently harvesting multiple types of energies using an integrated hybrid cell so that the energy resources can be effectively and complementary utilized whenever and wherever one or all of them is available. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

Xu C, Wang X, Wang ZL (2009) Nanowire Structured Hybrid Cell for Concurrently Scavenging Solar and Mechanical Energies. Journal of the American Chemical Society 131: 5866–5872. Available:

This research was supported by DARPA (Army/AMCOM/REDSTONE AR, W31 P4Q-08-1-0009), KAUST Global Research Partnership, and the NSF. We thank Jinhui Song and Jin Liu for technical assistance.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Journal of the American Chemical Society


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