Wearable Thermoelectric Power Generator Using Screen Printing Technique (Wearable Technology LIVE! USA 2014)

Prof Byung Jin Cho, Professor
Nov 19, 2014.

Presentation Summary

Thermoelectric power generator (TEG), which converts waste heat into electricity, is one of the promising energy harvesting devices. Research on flexible TEG module fabrication has recently attracted great interest due to the potential new market for self-powered wearable mobile electronics. In fact, because many heat sources (human body, power stations, heating systems, motor vehicles, and so on) have arbitrary shapes, a flexible TEG module helps to have better thermal contact with the arbitrary shaped heat sources. However, conventional inorganic thermoelectric (TE) materials such as bismuth- and antimony telluride are unsuitable for flexible TEG modules because of their brittle material properties.
Here, we report the realization of a wearable TEG module using a screen printing technique on glass fabric. The device has self-sustaining structure without top and bottom substrates. This technique enables to make the device thinner (~500μm), lighter (~0.13g/cm2) and more flexible than any other devices reported ever. In addition, the developed TE generator achieved unprecedentedly large output power density among all kinds of flexible TE generators reported up to date. The developed TE generator shows the allowable bending radius of down to 20 mm and no change in performance by repeated bending of 120 cycles. This work can expedite the development of wearable self-powered mobile devices.

Speaker Biography (Byung Jin Cho)

Professor Byung Jin Cho received Ph. D degrees in electrical engineering from KAIST, Korea, in 1991. From 1991 to 1993, he was with IMEC, Leuven, Belgium, as a Research Fellow. From 1993 to 1997, he joined the Memory R&D division of Hyundai Electronics (now SK Hynix Semiconductor), Korea, as a Section Manager, where he led a research team for the process development for 256M and 1G DRAM and Flash EEPROM. In 1997, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the National University of Singapore (NUS), as a faculty member. Since 2007, he is with Department of Electrical Engineering in KAIST, Korea, as a faculty member. His main research interests are nano-scale CMOS device technology, graphene-based electronics, energy harvesting devices, and wearable electronics. He has published over 350 technical papers and holds over 50 patents. He is an IEEE Senior Member since 2001, and currently the president of Korean Graphene Research Society.

Company Profile (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST))

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) logo
KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), is a public research university located in Daejeon, South Korea. KAIST was established by the Korean government in 1971 as the nation's first research oriented science and engineering institution. QS World University Rankings placed KAIST 24th in Engineering and Technology in 2012.
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