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Preliminary characterization of inkjet-printed thermocouples

Thomas Thurner

Thomas Thurner

Until now, electronic circuits based on copper-coated FR4 boards have been produced via etching or milling. The area of printed electronics simplifies this step by printing the electrical conductors with a low-cost inkjet-printer. Circuits and passive components can be printed on flexible film or paper substrates within just a few seconds. Afterwards, components can be picked and placed onto those printed circuits.
In this work nano-particle-inks with a suitable Seebeck-coefficient are prepared to print thermocouples. Moreover, this work characterizes printed thermocouples with the aim to evaluate whether they can be used in thermoelectric generators for energy harvesting.
It is necessary to develop an experimental set-up in order to measure the Seebeck-coefficient of different printable material combinations. The set-up has to establish a temperature difference between the hot and cold side of the thermocouple. Furthermore, the experimental set-up should also be usable as climate chamber for long-term measurements of printed electronics.

Figure 1: Measurement setup for characterizing inkjet-printed thermocouples

Figure 1: Measurement setup for characterizing inkjet-printed thermocouples

Keywords: inkjet-printed, thermocouple, printed sensors

August 16th, 2016