Paintable Liquid Thermoelectric Material for Harvesting Electric Energy from Waste Heat

January 30, 2017 | Source: Science Daily, sciencedaily.com, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technolog

A new study, led by Professor Jae Sung Son of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST has succeeded in developing a new technique that can be used to turn industrial waste heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications.

In their study, the team presented a new type of high-performance thermoelectric (TE) materials that possess liquid-like properties. These newly developed materials are both shape-engineerable and geometrically compatible in that they can be directly brush-painted on almost any surface.

Scientists hope that their findings, described in the journal Nature Communications this week, will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications.

The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. This effect can be used either for heating or for cooling, such as in small cooling systems, automotive cooling systems, as well as waste heat recovery system for ships. In addition, the thermoelectric generator modules used in these devices are configured as rectangular parallelepipeds.