High Power Density Ag2Se/Sb1.5Bi0.5Te3-Based Fully Printed Origami Thermoelectric Module for Low-Grade Thermal Energy Harvesting

Abstract Printing technologies have the potential to reduce the manufacturing costs of many electronic devices significantly. Here, a scalable manufacturing route for high-performance fully printed thermoelectric generators (TEGs) as a cost-effective solution for energy harvesting is demonstrated. This work presents a facile one-pot synthesis method to develop a high-performance Ag2Se-based n-type paste, which is used to fabricate a fully printed origami TEG by employing the Ag2Se-based material for the n-type legs and a previously reported Bi-Sb-Te-based paste for the p-type legs. The n-type film exhibits a power factor of 13.5 µW cm−1 K−2 and a maximum figure-of-merit (ZT) of ≈ 0.92. Furthermore, printable carbon paste is introduced as an effective interface between the thermoelectric and electrode materials, which reduces the contact resistances in the thermoelectric device. The origami folded TEG exhibits an open-circuit voltage (VOC) of 284 mV, a power output of 370.88 µW, and an exceptionally high power density (pmax) of 10.72 Wm−2 at a temperature difference (∆T) of 80.7 K, considering that the TEG fabrication does not involve any pressure treatment and vacuum sintering. These results underscore the scalability of the presented manufacturing process and the capability of printed origami TEGs for powering the Internet of Things (IoT) with low-grade waste heat.

L. Franke, A. Georg Rösch, M. I. Khan, Q. Zhang, Z. Long, I. Brunetti, M. N. Joglar, A. M. Lara, C. D. Simão, H. Geßwein, A. Nefedov, Y. M. Eggeler, U. Lemmer, M. M. Mallick
Advanced Functional Materials
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