The flexibility of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) is important for low-contact thermal resistance to curved heat sources. However, approaches that depend on soft materials, which are used in most existing studies, have the problem of low performance in terms of the substrate’s thermal conductivity and the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric (TE) elements. In this study, we propose a method to fabricate “Origami-TEG”, a TEG with an origami structure that enables both flexibility and the usage of high-performance rigid materials by self-folding. By applying the principle of the linkage mechanism to self-folding, we realized a fabrication process in which the TE element-mounting process and the active-material-addition process were separated in time. The fabricated origami-TEG showed similar internal resistance and maximum output power when attached to heat sources with flat and curved surfaces. Furthermore, it exhibited high-performance stability against both stretching and bending deformations.
|Publication status||Published - 2023 Jan|
- flexible device
- linkage mechanism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering