Thermoelectric Generator for Human Body Monitoring Systems

Korotkov A.S., Loboda V.V. (Peter the Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University), Dzyubanenko S.V., Bakulin E.M. (Avangard JSC)
Abstract - The paper presents results of design, manufacturing, and testing of thin-film thermoelectric generator for low-power applications, for example, for human body monitoring systems. Currently used monitoring systems are usually powered by rechargeable batteries, with understandable drawbacks for continuous operation from patients being affected by cognitive diseases. In order to extend the life-time of traditional batteries, the development of portable power generators able to harvest energy from environmental sources and convert it into electricity looks like a very promised technique. Thus, the manufacturing of such devices which can be placed on flexible substrates is the key point for the development of low cost wearable and integrated devices for health care and biometric parameters monitoring. Operating principle of the generator is based on Seebeck effect (transformation of thermal energy from a temperature gradient to electrical energy). Thermal elements of a generator are fabricated based on Bi2Te3 for n-type thermoelements and Sb2Te3 for p-type thermoelements. These materials have been used because of their high thermoelectric efficiency near to room temperature. The proposed technological process includes the following stages: magnetron sputtering of Cr/Cu/Ti for forming contact areas; electrodeposition of Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 for fabrication of n-type and p-type thermoelements, respectively; magnetron sputtering of Ni-Sn solder layers; flip-chip bonding, and packaging. The core-chip size is 3.8Х2.7Х0.8 mm. Linear dimensions of a thermoelectric generator in a package are 15.0x10.0x7.7 mm. Testing of manufactured generator samples was carried out with a temperature differences from 25 to 100 K. The values of the external load ranged from 10 Ohm to 10 kOhm. During the experiment, the output voltage was measured on the load; the output power and current were calculated. The voltage-current characteristics and the dependence of the output power on the current for different temperature differences of the generator sides were prepared. It has been shown that the range of power is from 3 uW to 56 uW while the temperature difference is mentioned above.

Keywords - thin-film thermoelectric generator, low-power applications, electrochemical deposition, flip-chip bonding.

Термоэлектрический генератор для устройств мониторинга состояния человека

Коротков А.С., Лобода В.В. (Санкт-Петербургский политехнический университет Петра Великого, г. Санкт-Петербург), Дзюбаненко С.В., Бакулин Е.М. (ОАО "Авангард", г. Санкт-Петербург)
Аннотация - В статье представлены результаты разработки термоэлектрического генератора для маломощных приложений, например, для систем мониторинга состояния человека. Принцип действия генератора основан на использовании эффекта Зеебека. Приводится описание технологического процесса изготовления и результаты испытаний тонкопленочного термоэлектрического генератора с выходной мощностью 3-56 мкВт при перепаде температур 25-100 К.

Ключевые слова - тонкопленочный термоэлектрический генератор, маломощные применения, электрохимическое осаждение, бондинг.