Flexible, High Performance Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting (changed from “High Performance Thermoelectrics” in March 2017)
Mehmet C. Ozturk
Project runs from 09/01/2012 to 08/31/2019
The objective of this project is to develop flexible thermoelectric (TE) energy harvesters using the state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials produced by the Vashaee group. The aim is to develop both bulk and thin-film flexible harvesters that are far superior to previously reported TE modules. The project includes a comprehensive system model for rigid / flexible TE heat harvesting from the body and device demonstration. Our flexible harvesters based on bulk thermoelectric materials explore novel flexible packaging approaches that rely on innovative material solutions that enable stretchable interconnects and low-thermal conductivity elastomers that can serve as filler materials. Our best harvesters to date rely on liquid GaIn stretchable interconnects and PDMS as the stretchable filler material. Our thin-film harvesters will rely on thermoelectric materials produced by pulsed laser deposition. Flexible harvesters will be fabricated relying on wafer-scale integration techniques. The thin-film devices will feature a
significantly larger number of legs with the objective of producing a larger open circuit voltage
potentially eliminating efficiency lost during boost conversion. The flexible harvesters will consider low thermal conductivity aerogels, which can possess thermal conductivities even lower than air.