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      1D semiconductor nanowires for energy conversion, harvesting and storage applications

      , , , , , , ,
      Nano Energy
      Elsevier BV

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          High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires.

          There is great interest in developing rechargeable lithium batteries with higher energy capacity and longer cycle life for applications in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles and implantable medical devices. Silicon is an attractive anode material for lithium batteries because it has a low discharge potential and the highest known theoretical charge capacity (4,200 mAh g(-1); ref. 2). Although this is more than ten times higher than existing graphite anodes and much larger than various nitride and oxide materials, silicon anodes have limited applications because silicon's volume changes by 400% upon insertion and extraction of lithium which results in pulverization and capacity fading. Here, we show that silicon nanowire battery electrodes circumvent these issues as they can accommodate large strain without pulverization, provide good electronic contact and conduction, and display short lithium insertion distances. We achieved the theoretical charge capacity for silicon anodes and maintained a discharge capacity close to 75% of this maximum, with little fading during cycling.
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            Coaxial silicon nanowires as solar cells and nanoelectronic power sources.

            Solar cells are attractive candidates for clean and renewable power; with miniaturization, they might also serve as integrated power sources for nanoelectronic systems. The use of nanostructures or nanostructured materials represents a general approach to reduce both cost and size and to improve efficiency in photovoltaics. Nanoparticles, nanorods and nanowires have been used to improve charge collection efficiency in polymer-blend and dye-sensitized solar cells, to demonstrate carrier multiplication, and to enable low-temperature processing of photovoltaic devices. Moreover, recent theoretical studies have indicated that coaxial nanowire structures could improve carrier collection and overall efficiency with respect to single-crystal bulk semiconductors of the same materials. However, solar cells based on hybrid nanoarchitectures suffer from relatively low efficiencies and poor stabilities. In addition, previous studies have not yet addressed their use as photovoltaic power elements in nanoelectronics. Here we report the realization of p-type/intrinsic/n-type (p-i-n) coaxial silicon nanowire solar cells. Under one solar equivalent (1-sun) illumination, the p-i-n silicon nanowire elements yield a maximum power output of up to 200 pW per nanowire device and an apparent energy conversion efficiency of up to 3.4 per cent, with stable and improved efficiencies achievable at high-flux illuminations. Furthermore, we show that individual and interconnected silicon nanowire photovoltaic elements can serve as robust power sources to drive functional nanoelectronic sensors and logic gates. These coaxial silicon nanowire photovoltaic elements provide a new nanoscale test bed for studies of photoinduced energy/charge transport and artificial photosynthesis, and might find general usage as elements for powering ultralow-power electronics and diverse nanosystems.
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              Thermoelectric figure of merit of a one-dimensional conductor

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nano Energy
                Nano Energy
                Elsevier BV
                22112855
                October 2020
                October 2020
                : 76
                : 104991
                Article
                10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.104991
                d4a03df6-516d-43cb-8052-95292298a46a
                © 2020

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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