Professor Jang Jae-young Developed Thermoelectric Material with Possible Use for Energy Source for Wearable Electronics
Introduced as the cover thesis of Advanced Functional Materials
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Hanyang University Professor Jang Jae-young (36·Photo) of the Department of Energy Engineering and his team recently developed a stretchable organic thermoelectric material that has a self-healable characteristic. Thermoelectric material is a material that converts heat energy into electric energy using temperature difference, that has been so far using materials based on metal or ceramics. When the research outcome created by Professor Jang's team is commercialized, which was introduced on the cover of Advanced Functional Materials, one of the world's most renowned papers on materials academics, it will allow the wearable electronics to recharge the battery by only using the body temperature, expecting a great increase in its hours of usage.
There have been active researches being done on high polymer-based thermoelectric materials, which has better flexibility than metal-based materials with difficulties on modifications. However, due to the drawback that an organic material with a soft property of matter can easily lose the characteristic of thermoelectricity when under a physical collision, researchers were having a hard time commercializing the results.
Accordingly, to utilize the source throughout a wider area than the energy source of wearable devices, the need for the development of new organic thermoelement was raised, which has flexibility, elasticity and also can self-heal the cracks created through outside impacts.
To solve this problem, Professor Jang's research team used functional organic material and provided material design and manufacturing process strategy at the same time, leading to the development of a material showing the best thermoelectricity.
The team went through successful doping of conjugated polymer in a form of nano-wire and showed its thermoelectrical characteristic, while also embedding this to thermoplastic elastomer matrix and developing a thermoelectricity material with both a complex form of elasticity and self-healable characteristics.
The developed material features great thermal conversion property on low-temperature and small temperature differences, keeping its stable self-healable ability throughout outside impacts such as scratches or cracks.
The significance of the research lies in the fact that it has confirmed the possibility of utilization of organic high polymer-based thermoelectricity material as an energy source of wearable devices.
Professor Jang mentioned that "this thermoelectricity material will be a great help to the development and commercialization of future electric materials such as electric skin and wearable smart devices," he also added, "the specific technology is also expected to be used throughout the next-generation energy harvesting related field."
The research was conducted under the Ministry of Education(Basic Research Support Program-SGER) with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea, co-working with Professor Jeong Yong-jin of Korea National University of Transporation, School of Chemical and Materials Engineering.
■ Thesis Title: Self-Healable and Stretchable Organic Thermoelectric Materials: Electrically Percolated Polymer Nanowires Embedded in Thermoplastic Elastomer Matrix
■ Writer Information: Professor Jeong Yong-jin (1st writer, School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Korea National University of Transportation), Jung Jae-min Doctor Candidate (Hanyang University), Suh Eui-hyun Doctor Candidate (Hanyang University), Doctor Yun Dong-jin (Samsung Advanced Institue of Technology), Oh Jong-gyu Doctor Candidate (Hanyang University), Professor Jang Jae-young (Communications Writer, Hanyang University)
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