Solar to electrical conversion via liquid crystal elastomers

T. Hiscock*, M. Warner, P. Palffy-Muhoray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We have constructed a hypothetical charge pump which converts solar energy into DC electricity. The output is generated by cyclic changes in the capacitance of a circuit, which transfers charge from a low to a high voltage. The electric field across the capacitor must be of the order of 108 Vm-1 to compete with efficiencies of photovoltaics. We have modeled the output using a liquid crystal elastomer as the working substance. Efficiencies of 1-4% are obtained, and are enhanced by careful choices in the capacitor geometries and the operating voltages of the charge pump.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104506
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2011


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