Chapter 6: Thermoelectric Energy Harvesters and Applications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


With recent progress in the field of wearable and bio-integrated devices, which are widely used for various applications, such as real-time health monitoring, point-of-care diagnostics, and biological actuators, the need for a continuous and reliable power source is increasing. As solid-state devices with no moving parts, thermoelectric energy generators provide a reliable solution for harnessing body heat and converting it into electricity on demand. However, traditional thermoelectric generators, comprising inorganic materials, are rigid and bulky, limiting their wide deployment. Nonconventional thermoelectric generators, composed of organic and hybrid thermoelectric materials, are flexible and lightweight. In this chapter, we will discuss the working principle of thermoelectric energy harvesting, including materials, devices, and applications. While we briefly touch upon the inorganic materials, we will focus primarily on the organic and hybrid materials, which are nontoxic, flexible, easy to manufacture, easy to scale, and readily available at low cost, providing a promising solution for lightweight and conformal thermoelectric power generation.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEnhanced Carbon-Based Materials and Their Applications
EditorsP. C. Ooi, M. Xie, C. F. Dee
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5500-80477


  • body heat harvesting
  • flexible power source
  • organic TEG
  • thermoelectric
  • wearable


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