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7 March 2014 Bio-hybrid integrated system for wide-spectrum solar energy harvesting
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An integrated hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric system has been developed using multiple layers of organic photosensitizers on inorganic semiconductors in order to efficiently convert UV-visible and IR energy into electricity. The hot anode of n-type ZnO nanowires was fabricated using a thermal process on pre-seeded layer and results to be crystalline with a transmittance up to 92 % and a bandgap of 3.32 eV. The visible-UV light-active organic layer was deposited between the anode and cathode at room temperature using a layer-by-layer deposition onto ITO and ZnO and Bi2Te3 nanowires from aqueous solution. The organic layer, a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid is composed of oppositely charged porphyrin metal (Zn(II) and Sn(IV)(OH‑)2) derivatives that are separately water soluble, but when combined form a virtually insoluble solid. The electron donor/acceptor properties (energy levels, band gaps) of the solid can be controlled by the choice of metals and the nature of the peripheral substituent groups of the porphyrin ring. The highly thermoelectric structure, which acts as a cold cathode, is composed of p-type Bi2Te3 nanowires with a thermoelectric efficiency (ZT) between ~0.7 to 1, values that are twice that expected for bulk Bi2Te3. Efficiency of the integrated device, was found to be 35 at 0.2 suns illumination and thermoelectric properties are enhanced by the charge transfer between the CBI and the Bi2Te3 is presented in terms of photo- and thermogenerated current and advantages of the low cost fabrication process is discussed.
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Kathleen Martin, Matthew Erdman, Hope Quintana, John Shelnutt, John Nogan, B. Swartzentruber, Julio Martinez, Olga Lavrova, and Tito Busani "Bio-hybrid integrated system for wide-spectrum solar energy harvesting", Proc. SPIE 8983, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XVI, 89831D (7 March 2014);

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