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submitted on 18.09.2020 and posted on 21.09.2020by Zhihang Wang, Zhiyu Hu, Erzhen Mu, Zhao-Yang Zhang, Martyn Jevric, Yang Liu, Jessica Orrego-Hernández, Zhenhua Wu, Xuecheng Fu, Fengdan Wang, Tao LI, Kasper Moth-Poulsen
Harvesting solar energy into electrical power can be an attractive way for the development of cleaner energy. However, traditional solar photovoltaic technologies operate strongly dependent on solar intermittency. Molecular solar thermal energy storage (MOST) is a new technology based on photoswitchable materials, which allow sunlight to be stored and released as chemical energy on-demand. We here characterized the photophysical properties of two MOST couples both in liquid and phase interconvertible neat film. Their suitable MOST properties let us combine them individually with a microelectromechanical ultrathin thermoelectric chip to use the stored solar energy for electrical power generation. The generator can produce a surface output power up to 1.2 mW·m-2 for the liquid form and 0.6 mW·m-2 for the neat film form. Our results demonstrated that such a molecular thermal power generation system has a high potential to store and transfer solar power into electricity, and is thus independent of geographical restrictions.