Thermoelectric power generation offers a promising way to recover waste heat. The geometrical design of thermoelectric legs in modules is important to ensure sustainable power generation but cannot be easily achieved by traditional fabrication processes. Herein, we propose the design of cellular thermoelectric architectures for efficient and durable power generation, realized by the extrusion-based 3D printing process of Cu2Se thermoelectric materials. We design the optimum aspect ratio of a cuboid thermoelectric leg to maximize the power output and extend this design to the mechanically stiff cellular architectures of hollow hexagonal column- and honeycomb-based thermoelectric legs. Moreover, we develop organic binder-free Cu2Se-based 3D-printing inks with desirable viscoelasticity, tailored with an additive of inorganic Se82− polyanion, fabricating the designed topologies. The computational simulation and experimental measurement demonstrate the superior power output and mechanical stiffness of the proposed cellular thermoelectric architectures to other designs, unveiling the importance of topological designs of thermoelectric legs toward higher power and longer durability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology