A printed energy harvesting and storage circuit powered by ambient office lighting and its use to power a printed display is reported. The autonomous device is composed of three printed electronic components: an organic photovoltaic module, a carbon-nanotubes-only supercapacitor and an electrochromic display element. Components are fabricated from safe and environmentally friendly materials, and have been fabricated using solution processing methods, which translate into low-cost and high-throughput manufacturing. A supercapacitor made of spray-coated carbon nanotube based ink and aqueous NaCl electrolyte was charged using a printed organic photovoltaic module exposed to office lighting conditions. The supercapacitor charging rate, self-discharge rate and display operation were studied in detail. The supercapacitor self-discharge rate was found to depend on the charging rate. The fully charged supercapacitor was used as a power source to run the electrochromic display over 50 times.
Tuukkanen, S., Välimäki, M., Lehtimäki, S., Vuorinen, T., & Lupo, D. (2016). Behaviour of one-step spray-coated carbon nanotube supercapacitor in ambient light harvester circuit with printed organic solar cell and electrochromic display. Scientific Reports, 6, [22967 ]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep22967