Practical evaluation of organic polymer thermoelectrics by large-area R2R processing on flexible substrates

Roar R. Søndergaard, Markus Hösel, Nieves Espinosa Martinez, Mikkel Jørgensen, Frederik C Krebs

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Abstract

Here, we present a process based on roll-to-roll (R2R) technology which allows for very fast processing of polymer thermoelectric (TE) devices and we furthermore demonstrate a simplified but more efficient way of serially connecting these devices by means of R2R thin-film processing. The new device architecture makes it possible to use only one TE material (opposed to two materials which are employed in well-known Peltier elements), and a total of 18,000 serially connected junctions were prepared by flexoprinting of silver electrodes and by rotary screen printing of poly(3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT):polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) as the TE material. Testing of devices revealed that the new architecture clearly showed to be functioning as expected, but also pointed
toward challenges for thin-film TE development which is the influence of the substrate thickness on the thermal gradient over a device and the currently low performance available. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out in order to evaluate the sustainability of the new architecture and to estimate the requirements for development of a successful technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Science & Engineering
Volume1
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)81-88
ISSN2050-0505
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 The Authors. Energy Science & Engineering published by the Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This work was supported by the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education through the EliteForsk initiative and the 2011 Grundfos award.

Keywords

  • Device architecture
  • Large scale
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Polymer
  • Roll-to-roll
  • Serial connection
  • Thermoelectric

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