Printed and Flexible Thermoelectric Generators
Printed electronics enables patterning of functional materials over large areas and at low cost. In our group, we envision the development of printed thermoelectric generators (TEG) over large areas and on flexible substrates. These devices should be able to harvest energy by utilizing the difference in temperature between large areas of any hot surface (including human skin) and the environment. As a result, printed TEG could potentially be used to power sensors and electronics in wearables such as electronic patches or smart textiles, or to recuperate waste heat in a myriad of domestic and industrial scenarios.
Printed organic solar cells for wearables
Organic solar cells have attracted the interest of many reasearchers in the last years due to their capability to be processed from solution and over large areas. Moreover, the versatility of organic materials permit to tune their absorption range. We are interested on printing organic solar cells on complex patterns to facilitate their seamless integration on wearable systems where they can work as energy harvesters or autonomous photodetectors.
Micro-supercapacitors for the IoT
Supercapacitors are energy storage devices typically composed of two large-area electrodes and an electrolyte in between. They lie in between batteries and standard dielectric capacitors in terms of energy and power density.
Supercapacitors can store more energy than standard capacitors (but less than batteries), and charge and discharge faster than batteries (but slower than capacitors). Therefore, the electrical properties of supercapacitors make them excellent companions for energy harvesters in electronic systems, since supercapacitors can quickly store any excess of available energy, and deliver it to the system during energy shortages. Adapting the fabrication process and form factor of micro-supercapacitors to flexible sensing tags will pave the way to the developmet of the next generation of sensing nodes for the Internet of Things (IoT).