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IISER Pune researchers develop a novel battery to draw power from light  Jun 22, 2015

As a new means to harness light energy, Dr. Musthafa’s research group at IISER Pune has developed a battery that can produce power from a light source. This development could potentially allow solar energy to be stored directly in a battery along with paving way to generate a sustainable photo battery.

Present day batteries are made out of metal ions and typically use lithium or sodium as the anode material. These batteries have numerous applications and are widely used; nevertheless, concerns remain on their safety and their long charging times often attributed to the nature of the anode material used. To address these issues, Musthafa and colleagues have employed a radical new approach and used titanium nitride as the photoanode (anode responsive to light).

Click on the image to view a video on how the battery works

Talking about the significance of this new design, Dr. Musthafa said “In the state-of-the-art solar cells, a battery is always required to store solar power and that makes the system heavy and bulky. The present system can harvest and store solar energy in the same device thus integrating solar cell and battery functionalities. This way it is more economical and practical.”

Importantly, the battery can charge on its own in less than a minute in the presence of sunlight or a common artificial light source and is safer than modern batteries.

 This work, accepted for publication in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, has been highlighted in numerous international websites and magazines. Authors on this publication include Ravikumar Thimmappa, Bhuneshwar Paswan, Pramod Gaikwad, Mruthyunjayachari C. Devendrachari, Harish M.N. Kotresh, Ramsundar R. Mohan, Joy P. Alias, and Musthafa O. Thotiyl.

This research has received financial support from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Science and Technology, India.

-Reported by Shanti Kalipatnapu
-Video by Dr. Musthafa’s Group with editing by IISER Pune Science Media Centre


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