What is it about?

We demonstrated a simple fabrication of performing thermoelectric devices based on powder bed laser fusion of bismuth telluride directly on plastic foil. Despite their high thickness, leading to desirable low sheet resistance, the materials show extreme bendability, opening the door to applications in the Internet of Things and wearables, where energy harvesting is required from curved and dynamic surfaces.

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Why is it important?

There is an increased need to power nodes of the Internet of Things and wearable electronics and batteries alone cannot satisfy this need. Mechanically robust and inexpensive energy harvesters like the one reported can satisfy this need.


There is still room for improvement in terms of the device design. For instance, the large electrical contact resistance of the unoptimized interconnects is dragging down the generator's performance. Also, we have demonstrated only an n-type material. An equivalent p-type is also requested for optimal performance.

Francisco Molina-Lopez
Associatie KU Leuven

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This page is a summary of: Facile Fabrication of Flexible and High‐Performing Thermoelectrics by Direct Laser Printing on Plastic Foil, Advanced Materials, December 2023, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/adma.202307945.
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