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Towards a thermoelectric nanostructured energy harvester for wearable applications

Towards a thermoelectric nanostructured energy harvester for wearable applications
Towards a thermoelectric nanostructured energy harvester for wearable applications
Thermoelectric (TE) devices provide a clean and environmentally friendly technique for energy conversion. There is, however, limited published research addressing the optimal design and fabrication of flexible thermoelectric generators (TEGs), which use nanostructured materials and can conform to the contours of the geometry on which they are mounted. This paper describes a novel technological route that was found to be a promising approach for realising nanostructured energy harvesters on flexible substrates operating at small temperature gradients < 20 K and suitable for wearable applications. By comparison, current commercial rigid TEGs operate at temperature gradients of 50–70 K. The fabrication process reported here requires a combination of traditional silicon microfabrication techniques, electroplating and ion-track nanolithography. Polyimide nanotemplates, with pore diameters ranging from 30 to 120 nm and a high aspect ratio (1:1000), were fabricated from Kapton foil with a thickness of 20 μm. Bi2Te3 and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 nanowires (80–120 nm) were successfully electrodeposited into such templates. Both compounds had optimal microstructural properties for thermoelectric applications. While Bi2Te3 (n-type element) films had a close-to-stoichiometric composition ( Bi2.17Te2.81), Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 (p-type element) samples exhibited significant deviations from their stoichiometric composition from Bi0.37Sb1. 44Te3.20 to Bi0.29Sb1. 43Te3.27.
0957-4522
Koukharenko, E.
b34ae878-2776-4088-8880-5b2bd4f33ec3
Boden, S.A.
83976b65-e90f-42d1-9a01-fe9cfc571bf8
Sessions, N.P.
ee737092-56b4-403e-a2f9-764e07e42625
Frety, N.
ca80ea24-c1cc-44a5-82dd-91c5f117e6f6
Nandhakumar, I.
e9850fe5-1152-4df8-8a26-ed44b5564b04
White, N.M.
c7be4c26-e419-4e5c-9420-09fc02e2ac9c
Koukharenko, E.
b34ae878-2776-4088-8880-5b2bd4f33ec3
Boden, S.A.
83976b65-e90f-42d1-9a01-fe9cfc571bf8
Sessions, N.P.
ee737092-56b4-403e-a2f9-764e07e42625
Frety, N.
ca80ea24-c1cc-44a5-82dd-91c5f117e6f6
Nandhakumar, I.
e9850fe5-1152-4df8-8a26-ed44b5564b04
White, N.M.
c7be4c26-e419-4e5c-9420-09fc02e2ac9c

Koukharenko, E., Boden, S.A., Sessions, N.P., Frety, N., Nandhakumar, I. and White, N.M. (2017) Towards a thermoelectric nanostructured energy harvester for wearable applications. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics. (doi:10.1007/s10854-017-8277-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Thermoelectric (TE) devices provide a clean and environmentally friendly technique for energy conversion. There is, however, limited published research addressing the optimal design and fabrication of flexible thermoelectric generators (TEGs), which use nanostructured materials and can conform to the contours of the geometry on which they are mounted. This paper describes a novel technological route that was found to be a promising approach for realising nanostructured energy harvesters on flexible substrates operating at small temperature gradients < 20 K and suitable for wearable applications. By comparison, current commercial rigid TEGs operate at temperature gradients of 50–70 K. The fabrication process reported here requires a combination of traditional silicon microfabrication techniques, electroplating and ion-track nanolithography. Polyimide nanotemplates, with pore diameters ranging from 30 to 120 nm and a high aspect ratio (1:1000), were fabricated from Kapton foil with a thickness of 20 μm. Bi2Te3 and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 nanowires (80–120 nm) were successfully electrodeposited into such templates. Both compounds had optimal microstructural properties for thermoelectric applications. While Bi2Te3 (n-type element) films had a close-to-stoichiometric composition ( Bi2.17Te2.81), Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 (p-type element) samples exhibited significant deviations from their stoichiometric composition from Bi0.37Sb1. 44Te3.20 to Bi0.29Sb1. 43Te3.27.

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Towards thermoelectric nanostructured energy harvester for wearable applications - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 25 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 November 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416732
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416732
ISSN: 0957-4522
PURE UUID: c27843e3-26f4-467c-9191-1ce92587beee
ORCID for S.A. Boden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4232-1828
ORCID for I. Nandhakumar: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9668-9126
ORCID for N.M. White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1532-6452

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Date deposited: 05 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 05:22

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Contributors

Author: E. Koukharenko
Author: S.A. Boden ORCID iD
Author: N.P. Sessions
Author: N. Frety
Author: I. Nandhakumar ORCID iD
Author: N.M. White ORCID iD

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