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Combination of Electrodeposition and Transfer Processes for Flexible Thin-Film Thermoelectric Generators

Department of Materials Science, Tokai University, Hiratsuka 259-1292, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(1), 22;
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flexible Films and Coatings)
PDF [2062 KB, uploaded 3 January 2018]


To reduce consumption for ambient assisted living (AAL) applications, we propose the design and fabrication of flexible thin-film thermoelectric generators at a low manufacturing cost. The generators were fabricated using a combination of electrodeposition and transfer processes. N-type Bi2Te3 films and p-type Sb2Te3 films were formed on a stainless-steel substrate employing potentiostatic electrodeposition using a nitric acid-based bath, followed by a transfer process. Three types of flexible thin-film thermoelectric generators were fabricated. The open circuit voltage (Voc) and maximum output power (Pmax) were measured by applying a temperature difference between the ends of the generator. The thin-film generators obtained using thermoplastic sheets with epoxy resin exhibited a Voc that was tens of millivolts. In particular, the contact resistance of the thin-film generator decreased when silver paste was inserted at the junctions between the n- and p-type films. The most flexible thin-film generator fabricated in this study exhibited a Pmax of 10.4 nW at a temperature difference of 60 K. The current performance of the generators was too low, but we innovated a combination process to prepare them. It is expected to increase the performance by further decreasing the micro-cracks and contact resistance in the generators. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrodeposition; transfer process; flexible thin films; thermoelectric generators electrodeposition; transfer process; flexible thin films; thermoelectric generators

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yamamuro, H.; Hatsuta, N.; Wachi, M.; Takei, Y.; Takashiri, M. Combination of Electrodeposition and Transfer Processes for Flexible Thin-Film Thermoelectric Generators. Coatings 2018, 8, 22.

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