Compliant and stretchable thermoelectric coils for energy harvesting in miniature flexible devices

Kewang Nan, Stephen Dongmin Kang, Kan Li, Ki Jun Yu, Feng Zhu, Juntong Wang, Alison C. Dunn, Chaoqun Zhou, Zhaoqian Xie, Matthias T. Agne, Heling Wang, Haiwen Luan, Yihui Zhang, Yonggang Huang*, Gerald Jeffrey Snyder, John A Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With accelerating trends in miniaturization of semiconductor devices, techniques for energy harvesting become increasingly important, especially in wearable technologies and sensors for the internet of things. Although thermoelectric systems have many attractive attributes in this context, maintaining large temperature differences across the device terminals and achieving low-thermal impedance interfaces to the surrounding environment become increasingly difficult to achieve as the characteristic dimensions decrease. Here, we propose and demonstrate an architectural solution to this problem, where thin-film active materials integrate into compliant, open threedimensional (3D) forms. This approach not only enables efficient thermal impedancematching but alsomultiplies the heat flow through the harvester, thereby increasing the efficiencies for power conversion. Interconnected arrays of 3D thermoelectric coils built using microscale ribbons of monocrystalline silicon as the active material demonstrate these concepts. Quantitative measurements and simulations establish the basic operating principles and the key design features. The results suggest a scalable strategy for deploying hard thermoelectric thin-film materials in harvesters that can integrate effectively with soft materials systems, including those of the human body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaau5849
JournalScience Advances
Volume4
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018

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Hot Temperature
Equipment and Supplies
Miniaturization
Semiconductors
Silicon
Electric Impedance
Human Body
Internet
Technology
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Nan, Kewang ; Kang, Stephen Dongmin ; Li, Kan ; Yu, Ki Jun ; Zhu, Feng ; Wang, Juntong ; Dunn, Alison C. ; Zhou, Chaoqun ; Xie, Zhaoqian ; Agne, Matthias T. ; Wang, Heling ; Luan, Haiwen ; Zhang, Yihui ; Huang, Yonggang ; Snyder, Gerald Jeffrey ; Rogers, John A. / Compliant and stretchable thermoelectric coils for energy harvesting in miniature flexible devices. In: Science Advances. 2018 ; Vol. 4, No. 11.
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Nan, K, Kang, SD, Li, K, Yu, KJ, Zhu, F, Wang, J, Dunn, AC, Zhou, C, Xie, Z, Agne, MT, Wang, H, Luan, H, Zhang, Y, Huang, Y, Snyder, GJ & Rogers, JA 2018, 'Compliant and stretchable thermoelectric coils for energy harvesting in miniature flexible devices', Science Advances, vol. 4, no. 11, eaau5849. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau5849

Compliant and stretchable thermoelectric coils for energy harvesting in miniature flexible devices. / Nan, Kewang; Kang, Stephen Dongmin; Li, Kan; Yu, Ki Jun; Zhu, Feng; Wang, Juntong; Dunn, Alison C.; Zhou, Chaoqun; Xie, Zhaoqian; Agne, Matthias T.; Wang, Heling; Luan, Haiwen; Zhang, Yihui; Huang, Yonggang; Snyder, Gerald Jeffrey; Rogers, John A.

In: Science Advances, Vol. 4, No. 11, eaau5849, 02.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Nan, Kewang

AU - Kang, Stephen Dongmin

AU - Li, Kan

AU - Yu, Ki Jun

AU - Zhu, Feng

AU - Wang, Juntong

AU - Dunn, Alison C.

AU - Zhou, Chaoqun

AU - Xie, Zhaoqian

AU - Agne, Matthias T.

AU - Wang, Heling

AU - Luan, Haiwen

AU - Zhang, Yihui

AU - Huang, Yonggang

AU - Snyder, Gerald Jeffrey

AU - Rogers, John A

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N2 - With accelerating trends in miniaturization of semiconductor devices, techniques for energy harvesting become increasingly important, especially in wearable technologies and sensors for the internet of things. Although thermoelectric systems have many attractive attributes in this context, maintaining large temperature differences across the device terminals and achieving low-thermal impedance interfaces to the surrounding environment become increasingly difficult to achieve as the characteristic dimensions decrease. Here, we propose and demonstrate an architectural solution to this problem, where thin-film active materials integrate into compliant, open threedimensional (3D) forms. This approach not only enables efficient thermal impedancematching but alsomultiplies the heat flow through the harvester, thereby increasing the efficiencies for power conversion. Interconnected arrays of 3D thermoelectric coils built using microscale ribbons of monocrystalline silicon as the active material demonstrate these concepts. Quantitative measurements and simulations establish the basic operating principles and the key design features. The results suggest a scalable strategy for deploying hard thermoelectric thin-film materials in harvesters that can integrate effectively with soft materials systems, including those of the human body.

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