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We Are Hunter Green Energy

The HUNTER project is developing revolutionary power devices that convert humidity into electrical charge (hygroelectricity), thereby contributing to the European technology and creativity through joint R&D and R&I multisectorial and international cooperation activities supported by knowledge sharing. The devices will harvest electricity from atmospheric humidity and supply a current, such as solar cells capture sunlight and generate electrical power. The successful realization of the project is assured by implementing a coordinated network of knowledge sharing in materials science, physics and chemistry; by solidifying the state-of-the-art understanding in nanoelectronics and by applying bottom-up nanoengineering approaches via an international and inter-sector collaboration of highly qualified researchers from Portugal, France, Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and USA. Both technological (e.g. nanoelectronic device fabrication) and fundamental (e.g. charge transport mechanisms) issues will be assessed by this multidisciplinary consortium.

The consortium members have many years of experience and ongoing research activities on nanostructured materials fabrication and on optical, electrical, and structural characterization of low dimensional systems. The successful realization of this project will lead to scientifically substantiated principles for the development of a new generation of functional materials and, consequently, to the creation of advanced nanoelectronic devices. Our target is the development of a prototype of humidity to electricity converter in the humidity range of 20-100%.

Within the HUNTER project, the consortium is implementing research/innovation activities by means of functional secondments and organizing training courses, workshops and summer schools aimed at sharing knowledge, acquiring new skills and developing the careers of the consortium members. Sharing the culture of research and innovation, the HUNTER project will allow applying recent advancements in nanotechnology and materials science to the realization of the creative idea of Nikola Tesla (1932) of “capturing electricity from the air”. This vision will be performed in practice by innovative “humidity-to-electricity” devices, which will enhance the range of known renewable energy sources, such a solar, wind and wave power, by a new atmospheric humidity source.

Humidity-to-Electricity Converter Concept

Schematic representation of ionic atmosphere surrounding a ZrO2 nanoparticle.

  1. Nanoparticle core;
  2. Layer with an electric conductivity (p-type);
  3. Layer of adsorbates with an ionic conductivity (ОН-) and free charge carriers (FCC-Se-); Interface between 2 and 3 forms heterojunction
  4. Conductive matrix;

3 and 4 creates electrically continuous functional medium.

Qualitative band model of the ZrO2-Y2O3 nanoparticle (7,5-9 nm) surface with adsorbed water molecule (OH-).

Surface is negatively charged.

a) - Bands bending due to the quantum confinement effect and a potential difference on both sides of the phase boundary (VC) result in tunnel effect;

I – conductive band; II — valence band.

b) – The spatial distribution of charge around and beyond the nanoparticles.

  1. Hydrate shell
  2. p-type conductivity layer (L1)
  3. Area of electric field penetration, (L)
  4. Neutral dielectric core of the nanoparticle. R- Spatial coordinate.

Types of proposed device structures

a - planar (interdigitated), b - compressed compact (sandwich), c - porous block, where
1- ionically conductive matrix with nanopowders; 2- electrode grid; 3- graphene supported oxide nanopowders

Experimental Work

ZrO2 nanopowder of 7 - 30 nm



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