Fabrication of electronic devices for energy storage and harvest using microfibrillated cellulose

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Zhang, Xiaodan
Deng, Yulin
Wang, Youjiang
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Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer in the world and the main component of paper. Modern society requires electronic devices to be more flexible and environmental friendly, which makes cellulose as a good candidate for the next generation of green electronics. However, lots of researches employed “paper-like” petroleum-based polymers to fabricate electronics rather than using real cellulose paper. Cellulose, as a representative of environmental friendly materials, caught into people's attention because of its sustainable nature, ease of functionality, flexibility and tunable surface properties, etc. There are some general challenges about using cellulose for electronics, such as its non-conductivity, porosity and roughness, but these features can be taken advantages of on certain occasions. This thesis focuses on the study of cellulose-based electronic devices by chemical or physical modification of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). Particularly, three electronic devices were fabricated, including ionic diodes, electric double layer supercapacitors, pseudocapacitors. In addition, a rational design of dye-sensitized solar cell was investigated, although it was not directly cellulose-based, it led the way to the next generation of cellulose-based solar cells. The extraordinary physical and chemical properties of MFC were successfully leveled in those devices, in addition, inspiring and effective fabrication methods were proposed and carried out to solve the major problems faced by paper-based electronics, such as conductivity, flexibility, packaging and designs.
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