3D Ink Used to Create Thermo-generators

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Scientists at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have made it possible to print 3D thermopower generators using special ink. Thermoelectric generators convert heat energy obtained from a heat source directly into electrical power. In the past, researchers have tried to generate thermoelectric devices for use in things such as wireless sensors, however, their efforts didn’t see the required results. The scientists at the institute began by studying the properties of existing inks, especially those related to the distribution of charged particles.

With their knowledge, they were able to create an ink that could be used to print on top of a silicon chip. This ink is also capable of heating just one side of the chip while chilling the other, which is necessary as thermoelectric devices generate electricity when heat moves within a material—from a warmer part to a cooler zone. These printed thermoelectric generators have enough power to run a wireless sensor.

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