Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester they say could rival existing wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
"We wanted to design a flexible thermoelectric harvester that does not compromise on the material quality of rigid devices yet provides similar or better efficiency," says NCSU professor Mehmet Ozturk.
The researchers sought to utilize the best thermoelectric materials used in rigid devices in a flexible package, which would make it unnecessary for manufacturers to develop new materials when creating flexible devices.
The team used a liquid metal of gallium and indium to connect the thermoelectric "legs."
"The electric resistance of these connections is very low, which is critical since the generated power is inversely proportional to the resistance: low resistance means more power," Ozturk says.
He also notes liquid metal is self-healing, so should a connection break, the liquid metal will repair the link.
From NCSU News
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