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Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering

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Accepted Manuscript

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Solution phase printing of nanomaterials is becoming increasingly important for the creation of scalable flexible electronics including those associated with biomedical and energy harvesting applications. However, the use of solution-phase printed thermoelectric energy generators (TEGs) has been minimally explored. Herein we report a highly flexible inkjet-printed TEG. Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) and bismuth antimony telluride (Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3) nanowires (NWs) are inkjet printed onto polyimide to form n-type and p-type legs for the TEGs. A post-print thermal annealing process is used to increase the thermoelectric performance of the printed NWs while eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn) liquid metal contacts electrically connect the TEG legs in series. Annealing conditions for the combination of p/n legs are examined to maximize the thermoelectric efficiency of the TEG prototype. The maximum power factor was found to be 180 μW m-1K-2 and 110 μW m-1K-2 for Bi2Te3 and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 respectively, and a maximum power of 127 nW at a 32.5 K temperature difference. The performance of the TEG device does not diminish even after multiple bending (up to 50 times) experiments around a tight radius of curvature (rod dia. 11 mm). Hence this inkjet-printed flexible TEG is a step towards a fully functional wearable TEG device.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Chen, Bolin, Matthew Kruse, Biao Xu, Ravi Tutika, Wei Zheng, Michael Bartlett, Yue Wu, and Jonathan C. Claussen. "Flexible Thermoelectric Generators with Inkjet-Printed Bismuth Telluride Nanowires and Liquid Metal Contacts." Nanoscale (2018). DOI: 10.1039/C8NR09101C. Posted with permission.

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The Royal Society of Chemistry



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