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Room-Temperature Fabrication of a Flexible Thermoelectric Generator Using a Dry-Spray Deposition System

Abstract

We present a flexible thermoelectric (TE) generator with titanium dioxide (TiO2), antimony (Sb), and tellurium (Te) powders fabricated by a nanoparticle deposition system (NPDS). NPDS is a novel low-energy consumption dry-spray method that enables the deposition of inorganic materials on substrates at room temperature and under low vacuum. TiO2 nanopowders were dispersed on a TE powder for improved adhesion between TE films and the substrate. Film morphologies were investigated using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and the phase structure was analyzed by x-ray diffraction. A TE leg, deposited with 3 wt.% TiO2 content, had the largest Seebeck coefficient of approximately 160 μV/K. The prototype TE generator consisted of 16 TE legs linked by silver interconnects over an area of 20 mm × 60 mm. The prototype produced a voltage of 48.91 mV and a maximum power output of 0.18 μW from a temperature gradient of 20 K. The values are comparable to that of conventional methods. These results suggest that flexible TE generators can be fabricated by energy efficient methods, although internal and contact resistances must be decreased.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. NRF-2010-0029227) and the Energy Efficiency & Resources Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) was granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20142020103730) and LG Yonam Foundation.

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Correspondence to Sung-Hoon Ahn.

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Song, DS., Choi, JO. & Ahn, SH. Room-Temperature Fabrication of a Flexible Thermoelectric Generator Using a Dry-Spray Deposition System. Journal of Elec Materi 45, 2286–2290 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-015-4306-3

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Keywords

  • Nano-particle deposition system
  • flexible thermoelectric generator
  • dry-spray deposition
  • room temperature