New device architecture of a thermoelectric energy conversion for recovering low-quality heat

Hoon Kim, Sung Geun Park, Buyoung Jung, Junphil Hwang, Woochul Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Low-quality heat is generally discarded for economic reasons; a low-cost energy conversion device considering price per watt, $/W, is required to recover this waste heat. Thin-film based thermoelectric devices could be a superior alternative for this purpose, based on their low material consumption; however, power generated in conventional thermoelectric device architecture is negligible due to the small temperature drop across the thin film. To overcome this challenge, we propose new device architecture, and demonstrate approximately 60 Kelvin temperature differences using a 10 -μm thick polymer nanocomposite. The temperature differences were achieved by separating the thermal path from the electrical path; whereas in conventional device architecture, both electrical charges and thermal energy share same path. We also applied this device to harvest body heat and confirmed its usability as an energy conversion device for recovering low-quality heat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1208
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate useful discussions with Prof. Choongho Yu and Prof. Hohyun Lee. This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (No. 2011-0028729) and the Nano Material Technology Development Program (Green Nano-Technology Development Program, No. 2011-0030146), funded by the Korean Government Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), as well as a grant from the Energy Efficiency & Resources Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), funded by the Korean Government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 20112010100100).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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