Researchers from the Osaka University have developed a cost-effective technology for the production of flexible material that transforms heat into electricity. It can potentially be used in portable wearable or implanted electronic devices.
Japanese scientists presented a large-scale thermoelectric generator module (FLEXTEG), suitable for converting energy on curved surfaces. It consists of high-performance bismuth-television chips of p- and n-type on a flexible thin plastic substrate. For attachment of small chips, a unique isotropic design was used, which made it possible to be placed on the section 50 × 50 mm 250 P-N pairs.
The module has a maximum density of the output power of 158 MW / cm2 at DT = 105 K, which corresponds to the value of the efficiency of 1.84%. Parallel leveling of the electrodes reduces the mechanical load on separate thermoelectric semiconductor chips, and good adhesion between the surface and contacts ensures stable functioning when flexing.
Although FlexTeg’s performance is still low and does not meet the necessary energy collection requirements, it is one of the most attractive variants of low-temperature (up to 150 ° C) transformation. According to developers, when it creates, standard methods for installing semiconductors are used, which makes it possible to establish mass production and significantly reduces the cost.
Recently, the modules of a flexible thermoelectric generator using organic or thin-film materials attract more and more attention due to the prospects for their use, in wireless sensors and wearable devices.
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