Elastic Dry-Type Solar Cell Rubber with Photovoltaics and Piezoelectricity for Compressive Sensing
Ordinary solar cell is too hard to bend or be squashed by compression, and to be extended by tensile strength. Because it is generally made of plastic polymer. However, if the one has elastic, flexible and extensible property as well as sensing of piezoelectricity, it is useful and effective on the artificial skin installed over a human-like robot as a husk which generates electric power in itself by solar and perceives any forces or temperature. Or other varied engineering applications will be feasible. In addition, such hybrid functions of both photovoltaics and piezoelectricity does not need any power supply or battery to be equipped. The solar cell with sensing developed in the present paper is novel in solar cell and sensor fields. For the realization of the elastic solar cell, it was made of natural rubber and electrolytically polymerized with configuration of magnetic clusters of metal particles by aiding a magnetic field, corresponding to the MCF rubber which the present author had developed as an elastic, flexible and extensible sensor made of natural rubber. The principle of photovoltaics and piezoelectricity was elucidated. The photo-voltage and current were measured under the photo-excitation based on the p- and n-type semiconductor resulted from the electrolytic polymerization of MCF rubber or from the doping, or on the dye. For clarifying piezoelectricity the compressive sensing was measured under compression.