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KTH to develop Ink Coating Enabling Thermoelectric Devices

Published on 2022-06-16. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Inks     Science-based Formulation     Scientific Research

Researchers at KTH report that they are closing in on a way to replace batteries for wearables and low-power applications on the internet of things (IoT).

The answer lies in an ink coating that enables low-grade heat, which is generated by devices, to be converted to electrical power.

Thermoelectricity is the direct conversion of heat to electricity. It’s possible to capture the heat that a device generates and convert it to power that can be used by the same device, or another device. What is required are specially designed thermoelectric materials.

When one end of thermoelectric material is heated up, charge carriers (electrons and holes) move away from the hot end toward the cold end, resulting in an electric current.

One challenge is in managing the thermal conductivity and resistance with materials that can be applied to a large area without losing their performance over time.

The research also makes headway in gaining a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of materials used for hybrid thermoelectric material design.

“In the long run, with the use of more sustainable inorganic thermoelectric materials compositions and sustainable biopolymers, such as cellulose and lignocellulose (or plant matter), the use of this technology in large areas will impact the adaptation of thermoelectric technology for efficient heat-to-power energy harvesting, as a complementary means to green transition.”


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