Copper iodide on Spacer Fabrics as textile thermoelectric Device for Energy Generation

in: Materials (2023)
Schmidl, Gabriele; Jia, Guobin; Gawlik, Annett; Lorenz, Philipp; Zieger, Gabriel; Dellith, Jan; Diegel, Marco; Plentz, Jonathan
The integration of electronic functionalities into textiles for use as wearable sensors, energy harvesters, or coolers has become increasingly important in recent years. A special focus is on efficient thermoelectric materials. Copper iodide as a p‑type thermoelectrically active, nontoxic material is attractive for energy harvesting and energy generation because of its transparency and possible high-power factor. The deposition of CuI on polyester spacer fabrics by wet chemical processes represents a great potential for use in textile industry for example as flexible thermoelectric energy generators in the leisure or industrial sector as well as in medical technologies. The deposited material on polyester yarn is investigated by electron microscopy, x‑ray diffraction and by thermoelectric measurements. The Seebeck coefficient was observed between 112 and 153 μV/K in a temperature range between 30 °C and 90 °C. It is demonstrated that the maximum output power reached 99 nW at temperature difference of 65.5 K with respect to room temperature for a single textile element. However, several elements can be connected in series and the output power can be linear upscaled. Thus, CuI coated on 3D spacer fabrics can be attractive to fabricate thermoelectric devices especially in the lower temperature range for textile medical or leisure applications.

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