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Materials 2018, 11(1), 115;

Thermoelectric Mixed Thick-/Thin Film Microgenerators Based on Constantan/Silver

Faculty of Microsystem Electronics and Photonics, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Janiszewskiego 11/17, 50-372 Wrocław, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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This paper describes the design, manufacturing and characterization of newly developed mixed thick-/thin film thermoelectric microgenerators based on magnetron sputtered constantan (copper-nickel alloy) and screen-printed silver layers. The thermoelectric microgenerator consists of sixteen thermocouples made on a 34.2 × 27.5 × 0.25 mm3 alumina substrate. One of thermocouple arms was made of magnetron-sputtered constantan (Cu-Ni alloy), the second was a Ag-based screen-printed film. The length of each thermocouple arm was equal to 27 mm, and their width 0.3 mm. The distance between the arms was equal to 0.3 mm. In the first step, a pattern mask with thermocouples was designed and fabricated. Then, a constantan layer was magnetron sputtered over the whole substrate, and a photolithography process was used to prepare the first thermocouple arms. The second arms were screen-printed onto the substrate using a low-temperature silver paste (Heraeus C8829A or ElectroScience Laboratories ESL 599-E). To avoid oxidation of constantan, they were fired in a belt furnace in a nitrogen atmosphere at 550/450 °C peak firing temperature. Thermoelectric and electrical measurements were performed using the self-made measuring system. Two pyrometers included into the system were used for temperature measurement of hot and cold junctions. The estimated Seebeck coefficient, α was from the range 35 − 41 µV/K, whereas the total internal resistances R were between 250 and 3200 ohms, depending on magnetron sputtering time and kind of silver ink (the resistance of a single thermocouple was between 15.5 and 200 ohms). View Full-Text
Keywords: thermocouple; thermoelectricity; microgenerator; constantan; silver; Seebeck coefficient thermocouple; thermoelectricity; microgenerator; constantan; silver; Seebeck coefficient

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Gierczak, M.; Prażmowska-Czajka, J.; Dziedzic, A. Thermoelectric Mixed Thick-/Thin Film Microgenerators Based on Constantan/Silver. Materials 2018, 11, 115.

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