Solar-Battery Cell - A battery directly chargeable by sunlight

Dr. Yong Zhang
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Yong Zhang, Bissell Distinguished Professor of Engineering, of ECE at UNC-Charlotte, and his collaborators recently invented a completely new device concept, solar-battery cell (SBC), that can be viewed as a single-device level hybridization of a solar cell and a battery or an electrical power storage device that can be directly charged by sunlight. This device is the functional and monolithic integration of a solar cell and a battery rather than simply stacking two devices together. SBC is an all-solid-state device with an extremely simple device structure. It can not only address the shortcomings of the conventional approach, but also offer a major advantage in fabrication cost, and further avoid all the well-known safety hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries. The demonstrated primitive device consisted of a 500 nm thick poly-crystalline thin film of mixed-halide perovskite (MA, FA)Pb(I 0.5 Br 0.5 )3 that was spin-coated on a glass substrate, with two metallic electrodes. Detailed descriptions for the device fabrication, characterization, and mechanism can be found in a recent paper in Light: Sci. and Appl.