Promoting energy efficiency via a self‐adaptive evaporative cooling hydrogel

Shirui Pu, Jia Fu, Yutian Liao, Lurong Ge, Yihao Zhou, Songlin Zhang, Shenlong Zhao, Xiaowei Liu, Xuejiao Hu*, Kang Liu*, Jun Chen*
Advanced Materials 32(17), 1907307, (2020)
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201907307

Abstract

High temperature brings adverse impacts on the energy efficiency, and even destroys a semiconductor device. Here, a novel and cost-effective strategy is proposed to boost the energy efficiency of semiconductor devices by using the self-adaptive evaporative cooling of a lithium- and bromine-enriched polyacrylamide hydrogel. Water inside the hydrogel can quickly evaporate to dissipate the waste heat generated by the nugatory carrier transport in the P-N junction. In dormancy, the hydrogel harvests water molecules from the surrounding air to regenerate itself. The hydrogel is demonstrated to low down the operating temperature of a commercial polycrystalline silicon solar cell by 17 °C under one sun condition and enhances its efficiency from 14.5% to 15.5%. It is also capable of increasing the maximum power of a simulated chip by 45% at a fixed operating temperature. The hydrogel is expected to be widely adopted in current semiconductor industry to improve its energy efficiency.