Insitute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems, BAS

Sustainable energy sources are the key for the future economic, secure and ecology-oriented worldwide progress

Among the major challenges that need to be overcome are energy-related issues such as development of “green” energy sources, increased efficiency, conversion and storage.

The renewable sources of energy (photovoltaics, wind and water turbines) are ecologically benign but they have a major drawback, i.e. the dependence of cyclic (day/night) and climatic (clouds, wind current and sea waves) factors for the production of electricity. Here comes a back-up solution to solve this issue such as a system of battery and supercapacitors (supercap). The surplus electricity produced by the respective device during the day or windy period is stored in battery/supercapacitor and it is delivered to the power grid when necessary (night, clouds). Moreover, there is a significant demand increase of energy for portable devices and especially for transportation, aiming to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

A quick twofold response by improving the existing and developing of new technologies in the energy field for overcoming above mentioned issues is needed. The nature and form of the novel put-in materials could be the base for the both approaches.

Graphene has remarkable electrical conductivity, chemical stability and a unique zero band gap structure allowing wide light spectrum absorption. Nevertheless, its light absorbing ability is very low which may be overcomed by attachment of highly absorbing compounds.

Material of the future

Besides photovoltaics, batteries and capacitors, potential application areas of these materials are TV and smartphone screens, security tags and inks, sensors, lasers, transistors, bio-imaging, solar windows, biomarkers, solid-material-based memories, thermoelectric materials, quantum dot computers, artificial photosynthesis, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and more.
Quantum dots: In the nanoworld below ≤ 10 nm, materials which, have the same chemical composition but differ by particle size, exhibit different optical properties – absorption, fluorescence and emission. The small particle size may also contribute for shorter ion difusion paths.