Ferroelectric Based Alternative Multitype Energy Harvester

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We propose to use layered CuInP2S6 crystals as an active substance for the transducer of deformation, lighting, and heat into electric current. The use of layered CuInP2S6 crystals provides many advantages. First, it has good photoelectric sensitivity. In addition, there is no need to orient the crystals when applied to the supporting electrode, due to the spontaneous polarization in them being directed perpendicular to the layers. Because of the layered van-der-Waals nature of CuInP2S6crystals, it is much easier to create thin-layer and ultra-thin-layer converters. The design of the converter proposed by us is very simple. The active single-crystal layer 2 of the CuInP2S6 crystal is placed between the translucent electrode 1 (sputtered thin layer of gold or stanum oxide) and the main carrier electrode 3 made of thin (1 mm) aluminum. This sandwich structure, due to the ferroelectric properties of the active material, converts deformation or compression (due to the piezoelectric effect), illumination (due to the photovoltaic effect), and temperature change (due to the pyroelectric effect) into an electric current, all at the same time. The lower part of the transducer, consisting of aluminum electrodes 3, flexible rubber insulators 4, an active substance (Sn2P2S6 powder) 5, and electrodes 3, which, due to 3D architecture, were able to use movement not only in vertical but also in the horizontal direction. This part of the transducer uses triboelectric and piezoelectric effects to convert motion or vibration into electrical current.

The operation of this cascade is based on the movement of particles of the active powder (as in a liquid), its friction on the electrodes and particles on each other, and the formation of a charge on the particles of the active substance due to the triboelectric and piezoelectric effect, and its transfer between the electrodes. In this cascade, it is better to use 3D Sn2P2S6 crystals as an active substance, in which both the dielectric constant and the piezoelectric coefficient are higher compared to CuInP2S6. The effect of rapid destruction of active particles with the formation of a parasitic blocking layer on the electrodes is proposed to be eliminated by applying a solid protective Al2O3 layer on the Sn2P2S6 micro crystallites. This stage has an output voltage of 180-200V.

With a slight modification of this design, namely by adding a multilayer structure based on Li2FeP2S6, Li2NiP2S6, or SnP2S6, we can also add an energy storage device or battery which will make it possible not only to generate but also to store the created energy.

Because different cascades of this converter have different output voltages, namely, the upper cascade is hundreds of millivolts and the triboelectric cascade is hundreds of volts, it is necessary to use special energy harvesting circuits, for example, Analog Devices LTC3330, ADP5092, STMicroelectronics SPV1050 or others.


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  • Name:
    Alexander Molnar
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    • Alexander Molnar
    • Henrietta Ban
    • Svitlana Koda
  • Patent status: