High-performance shape-engineerable thermoelectric painting
Sung Hoon Park(Advisor: Jae Sung Son)
Nature Communications 7, Article number: 13403(2016)

Output power of thermoelectric generators depends on device engineering minimizing heat loss as well as inherent material properties. However, the device engineering has been largely neglected due to the limited flat or angular shape of devices. Considering that the surface of most heat sources where these planar devices are attached is curved, a considerable amount of heat loss is inevitable. To address this issue, here, we present the shape-engineerable thermoelectric painting, geometrically compatible to surfaces of any shape. We prepared Bi2Te3-based inorganic paints using the molecular Sb2Te3 chalcogenidometalate as a sintering aid for thermoelectric particles, with ZT values of 0.67 for n-type and 1.21 for p-type painted materials that compete the bulk values. Devices directly brush-painted onto curved surfaces produced the high output power of 4.0 mW cm−2. This approach paves the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications.