The concept of light-harvesting, self-powered mechanical sensors using a monolithic structure

Nguyen, Thanh ORCID: and Dinh, Toan ORCID: and Dau, Van Thanh and Nguyen, Hung and Vu, Trung Hieu and Tran, Canh-Dung ORCID: and Song, Pingan ORCID: and Bell, John and Nguyen, Nam-Trung and Dao, Dzung Viet (2022) The concept of light-harvesting, self-powered mechanical sensors using a monolithic structure. Nano Energy, 96:107030. pp. 1-9. ISSN 2211-2855


In the age of Internet-of-Things (IoT), 5G wireless networks, the drive towards decarbonization of the energy system, and to reducing environmental pollution, developing a technology for light-harvesting self-powered sensors can significantly contribute to the sustainable development of human civilization. In this paper we propose a light-harvesting self-powered mechanical sensing concept with a simple monolithic structure. We successfully demonstrate the excellent operation of our sensors under different photoexcitation conditions from natural to artificial lights and from weak to strong light powers. Under illumination of a commercial light emitting diode (LED) with a power of 46 µW, the generated lateral photovoltage is of 3.07 mV, which increases by 6, 13, and 20 µV under applied strains of 225, 450, and 675 ppm, respectively. Upon the increase of the light power to 428 µW, the lateral photovoltage reaches 16.42 mV under the free-strain condition, and increases by 11, 25, and 45 µV under the same strain conditions. In addition, even under room light, the lateral photovoltages are 0.86 mV, 0.86 mV + 4.2 µV, 0.86 mV + 8.0 µV, and 0.86 mV + 11.5 µV under strains of 0, 225, 450, and 675 ppm, respectively. Interestingly, the sensitivity of the sensor increases from 0.017 µV/ppm under ambient lighting to 0.03 and 0.065 µV/ppm under LED light powers of 46 µW and 428 µW, respectively. These promising results indicate that sensitivity of the self-powered strain sensor can be readily tuned by controlling illumination. The work offers a promising concept-of-proof methodology for the development of self-powered mechanical sensors.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Future Materials (1 Jan 2017 -)
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 01:48
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 06:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: Heterostructure; Light harvesting; Mechanical sensor; Monolithic; Self-powered sensor; Silicon carbide
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401601 Ceramics
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401608 Organic semiconductors
40 ENGINEERING > 4016 Materials engineering > 401602 Composite and hybrid materials
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 24 MANUFACTURING > 2403 Ceramics, glass and industrial mineral products > 240302 Ceramics
24 MANUFACTURING > 2404 Computer, electronic and communication equipment > 240402 Consumer electronic equipment (excl. communication equipment)
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