What is thermoelectric effect?
The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa via a thermocouple. At the atomic scale, an applied temperature gradient causes charge carriers in the material to diffuse from the hot side to the cold side.
Wearable thermoelectric generator(WTEG)
A thermoelectric generator (TEG) can be divided into lateral and vertical structures depending on the shape of the TE leg. The TEG has multiple altering legs of p- and n-type thermoelectric semiconductors. TEG can be used to harvest electrical energy from human body heat for the purpose of powering wearable electronics.
1. Solar absorber
A solar absorber was applied to the WTEG to obtain a high temperature difference. The temperature difference can be easily obtained by selectively coating the light absorber. We synthesized Metal/Dielectric super lattice and CNT/MoS2 composite for solar absorbing materials.
2. TE material synthesis and printing
Flexible and high-performing WTEG are fabricated using dispenser printing which is easy, fast and cost effective.
Y.S Jung, D.H Jeong, et al. Wearable solar thermoelectric generator driven by unprecedentedly high temperature difference. Nano energy (2017)
3. Solar heat driven WTEG
The temperature difference obtained by body heat is insufficient, which limits its practical applications. Here, we fabricated a novel WTEG that can be operated using the dual source of body heat and light with exceptionally high driving force. The solar absorber attached to the bottom of the WTEG absorbs approximately 95% of the light from ultraviolet to far infrared and converts it into heat.
M.H Jeong , K.C Kim, J.S Kim, K.J Choi* Operation of wearable thermoelectric generators using dual sources of heat and light. Advanced Science (2022)