Research & Business Foundation Sungkyunkwan University (Suwon-si, KR)

This disclosure concerns an material for energy conversion that comprises a pair 2D active layers as well as a property control layer placed between them. The layers controlling property are able to be modified in any state or structure depending on external conditions and can be switched reversibly between the 2D active layers.

The sensor is the primary technology of Internet of Things (IoT). It is a device that sends information via the Internet. The global and domestic sensor markets will continue to grow in size.

This sensor must be exposed to various environments and be operational all day long. It is obvious that there will be an increase in the energy requirements to operate continuously.

The global market for sensors is more than 60% controlled by the US, Japan and EU. The domestic sensor-related technologies aside from those connected to smartphones, are comparatively small. Therefore, it is crucial to dominate the continuousoperation energy source-related technology that is the main technology used in IoT expected to have a high added value.

The ultimate aim of IoT is to allow interactions among all objects via organic combination between signals input or generated through connection between all the objects. In order to achieve this, sensors installed in multiple objects have to constantly interact with each other. Particularly, in the event of a an unexpected malfunction in a security device or a medical device or factory equipment, the sensors have to notify a user of the malfunction in order to not miss the golden moment.

To operate for 24 hours, the sensors require more energy than their standby power. The true meaning of IoT will be achieved by making use of a self-generated power source.

In this regard, a method of producing electric energy using external environmental energy has been actively researched as shown in Korean Patent No. 10-1257318.

The conventional energy conversion material has been constructed to have the maximum energy conversion efficiency in a predetermined environment, however it only operates for a certain amount of time, and therefore needs to store electricity. An energy-generating device that is conventional (i) is an energy-generating device that operates on a single energy conversion mode. It produces very little energy over a short time. The traditional energy generation system (ii) can combine different energy sources by using combinations of energy-generating methods. However it’s not suitable for use as make an IoT sensor because of the complexity of microintegration as well as the need for a sophisticated circuit to apply to the same device.

To overcome the limitations of current materials based on one energy conversion mode an entirely new material to convert energy must be developed.

In view of the foregoing, the present disclosure provides an energy conversion material in which a property control layer, placed between 2-dimensional active layers, is changed in any one or more of structures and states with an externalenvironmental factor and performs reversible switching so that the 2-dimensional active layer can reversibly use any one or more of photovoltaic, piezoelectric, and thermoelectric properties and thus improve the total energy yield from any availableproperties mentioned above.

According to a first aspect of the disclosed invention it is disclosed an energy conversion material comprising the following: a pair of two-dimensional active layers; and the property control layer is placed between the active layers in two dimensions, and theproperty control layer can be altered in any one or more of states and structures based on an external environmental element and can be switched reversibly between the 2-dimensional active layers.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, the active layers in two dimensions may have any property selected from the group consisting of piezoelectric, photovoltaic, and thermoelectric properties and combinations thereof based on the irreversible switch of the property control layer although it may not be limited thereto.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure the active 2-dimensional layers could comprise a two-dimensional material or quasi-2 dimensional material chosen from the group consisting of graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides SiC, phosphorene and h-BN and combinations thereof, however, it is not limited to these.

A particular example of the disclosure states graphene is a choice from graphene, graphene dioxide reduced grapheneoxid, or the combination of these. However, this is not an infringement.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, the transition metal dichalcogenides may include a transition metal selected from the group comprised of molybdenum (Mo) and the tungsten (W), titanium (Ti) and hafnium (Hf) zirconium (Zr),technetium (Tc) and rhenium (Re) and platinum (Pt) as well as niobium (Nb) tantalum (Ta) and Tin (Sn) and combinations of them, but is not limited to them.

The disclosure declares that transition metal dichroogenides can include any element from the group consisting either of sulfur (S), tellurium(Te) or selenium (Se), but this isn’t always the case.

According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, the transition metal dichalcogenides may be selected from the group consisting of MoS.sub.2, MoSe.sub.2, WS.sub.2, WSe.sub.2, TiS.sub.2, TiSe.sub.2, TiTe.sub.2, HfS.sub.2, HfSe.sub.2,HfTe.sub.2, ZrS.sub.2, ZrSe.sub.2, ZrTe.sub.2, TcS.sub.2, TcSe.sub.2, TcTe.sub.2, ReS.sub.2, ReSe.sub.2, ReTe.sub.2, PdS.sub.2, PdSe.sub.2, PtS.sub.2, PtSe.sub.2, and combinations thereof, but may not be limited thereto.

A particular embodiment of the disclosure can allow quasi-two-dimensional substances to incorporate nanoparticles in a manner that can make them effective two-dimensional layers.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, the external environmental component could include any one or more of light, temperature and pressure, but may not be limited thereto.

According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, the layer of property control may comprise any one or more organic compounds that is whose structure changes due to external environmental factors and a metal-insulator transition (MIT) substance whose condition changes due to the external environmental factor, but may not be limited thereto.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure the property control layer may include any one selected from the group consisting of combinations of material groups which are transformed in structure to form an isomer. The isomer is then altered in property or structure due to light or pressure, but does not have to be restricted thereto.

According to an embodiment of the present disclosure the isomer could comprise any one selected from the group comprising azobenzene, stilbene, spiropyran diarylethene, fulgide, napthopyran, and other combinations thereof but is not restricted to.

In accordance with an embodiment of the current invention, the azobenzene can include an –OH or –SH group as a substituent for p 2 or 6 of the benzene ring. However, it may not be limited thereto.

One example of disclosure states that the azobenzene can contain a –NHCHO/ –COOH group that can substitute for carbon number 4 within a benzene-ring. However this isn’t always true.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure the active layers that are two-dimensional and the layer for property control can be alternately laminated to multiple layers, however, it is not limited thereto.

A specific example of the disclosure says that the property control layer could be switched between a photovoltaic and piezoelectric mode when there is light from outside. However, this might not be all that possible.

These embodiments should be viewed as illustrations only and not meant to restrict the scope of the disclosure. In addition to the embodiments described above it is possible to find additional embodiments described in the accompanyingdrawings and the full description.

According to the above-described aspects of the present disclosure, an energy conversion material itself is changed in any one or more of its structure and state depending on the external environmental factors and reversibly uses any combination of photovoltaic piezoelectric, thermoelectric, or photovoltaic properties, which increases the energy yield based on environmental changes, as opposed to a conventional hybrid system.

The energy conversion material disclosed in the present disclosure could result in a reversible change to overall material characteristics by the result of a sudden and irreversible property shift occurring in a subunit cell of apropertycontrol layer. This is particularly the case when environmental variables that are exposed are involved. Therefore, the energy conversion material is able to be changed to a certain energy generation mode that is optimized for a regular or irregular external environmental change.

It’s possible to develop tiny energy sources that can generate continuous energy through spontaneous and reversible switching when exposed to different conditions or sources of energy within one device.

The energy source that is able to continuously generate energy using the energy conversion materials according to the disclosure is able to be used to keep the integrity of an IoT sensor system.

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