Liquid metal makes flexible heat harvester reliable


NC State energy harvester

The proof-of-concept is intended to provide energy for wearables.

“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,” said Professor Mehmet Ozturk. “Using rigid devices is not the best option when you consider a number of different factors.”

This mean using the best available thermoelectric materials connected together by EGaIn, a non-toxic alloy of gallium and indium.

The actual thermoelectric couples were cut from solid metal. “Bulk thermoelectric legs cut from solid ingots are far superior to thermoelectric materials synthesized using other techniques,” said the team in the abstract of ‘Flexible thermoelectric generator using bulk legs and liquid metal interconnects for wearable electronics‘ in ScienceDirect’s Applied Energy.


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