(Invited) Enhanced Energy Harvesting Scheme Utilizing Hierarchical Micro/Nanostructures

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: 09:30
105-C (Phoenix Convention Center)


      In this talk, I will introduce the development of low dimensional nanomaterials in my group and its applications on solar cell and solar energy storage. In the first part of my talk, I will introduce the development of hierarchical nanostructures used to enhance the energy harvesting based on photo-solar and thermal-solar in my group.  First, I will report fabrication of a large area Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanotip arrays (CIGS NTRs) by using one step Ar+ milling process without template. By controlling milling time and incident angles, the length of CIGS NTRs with adjustable tilting orientations can be precisely controlled. The CIGS NTRs have very low reflectance < 0.1 % at incident wavelengths between 300 nm to 1200 nm. Open circuit voltage and short circuit current of CIGS NTRs solar cell were measured to be ~390 mV and ~22.56 mA/cm2, yielding the filling factor and the efficiency of 59 % and 5.2 %, respectively. In contrast to CIGS thin film solar cell with efficiency of 3.2 %, the nanostructured CIGS NTRs can have efficiency enhancement of ~160 % due to the higher light absorption ability because of the nanostructure.  In the 2nd part of my talk, an enhanced heat capacity of modified HITEC molten salt by doping of metal NPs will be reported. We encapsulate the Tin alloy into Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs to prevent mixture with salt when operation temperature is higher than the melting point of Tin. The SiOx shell layer can protect the Sn NPs to be oxidized and maintains a melted status during the heat cycles, providing a stable leant heat value of 28.36 J/g. Besides, effective heat capacity of HITEC salt with Sn/SiOx core-shell NPs can be enhanced to be 30 % a mixture percentage of 5 wt%. The merits of this approach show a low-cost and easy way to enhance the thermal properties of current molten salt without complicated manufacturing.