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Printing Liquid Metal Elastomer Composites for High‐Performance Stretchable Thermoelectric Generators

Printing Liquid Metal Elastomer Composites for High‐Performance Stretchable Thermoelectric... Continuous powering of wearable electronics and personalized biomonitoring systems remains a great challenge. One promising solution is the use of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that convert body heat to electricity. These energy harvesters must conform to curved surfaces and minimize thermal barriers to maintain efficiency while still exhibiting durability under large deformations. Here, highly efficient, stretchable thermoelectric generators made of inorganic semiconductors and printed multifunctional soft matter are introduced. Liquid metal elastomer composites with tailored microstructures are printed as highly conductive thermal interface materials and stretchable interconnects. Additionally, elastomer composites with hollow microspheres are formulated to print a deformable and lightweight thermal insulator within the device. These stretchable thermoelectric wearables show an excellent performance by generating an open‐circuit voltage of 392 mV and a power density of ≈650 µW cm−2 at ∆T = 60 °C and withstanding more than 15 000 stretching cycles at 30% strain. Furthermore, the additive manufacturing process is leveraged by direct writing of the TEGs on textiles to demonstrate their seamless integration and by 3D printing of stretchable heatsinks to maintain a large temperature gradient across the device and to study the effect of convective heat transfer on device performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advanced Energy Materials Wiley

Printing Liquid Metal Elastomer Composites for High‐Performance Stretchable Thermoelectric Generators

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2022 Wiley‐VCH GmbH
ISSN
1614-6832
eISSN
1614-6840
DOI
10.1002/aenm.202201413
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Continuous powering of wearable electronics and personalized biomonitoring systems remains a great challenge. One promising solution is the use of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that convert body heat to electricity. These energy harvesters must conform to curved surfaces and minimize thermal barriers to maintain efficiency while still exhibiting durability under large deformations. Here, highly efficient, stretchable thermoelectric generators made of inorganic semiconductors and printed multifunctional soft matter are introduced. Liquid metal elastomer composites with tailored microstructures are printed as highly conductive thermal interface materials and stretchable interconnects. Additionally, elastomer composites with hollow microspheres are formulated to print a deformable and lightweight thermal insulator within the device. These stretchable thermoelectric wearables show an excellent performance by generating an open‐circuit voltage of 392 mV and a power density of ≈650 µW cm−2 at ∆T = 60 °C and withstanding more than 15 000 stretching cycles at 30% strain. Furthermore, the additive manufacturing process is leveraged by direct writing of the TEGs on textiles to demonstrate their seamless integration and by 3D printing of stretchable heatsinks to maintain a large temperature gradient across the device and to study the effect of convective heat transfer on device performance.

Journal

Advanced Energy MaterialsWiley

Published: Sep 1, 2022

Keywords: 3D printing; liquid metals; stretchable electronics; thermal conductivity; thermal management; thermoelectrics

References