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Coaxial struts and microfractured structures of compressible thermoelectric foams for self-powered pressure sensors.

A new interesting article has been published in Nanoscale. 2018 Oct 4;10(38):18370-18377. doi: 10.1039/c8nr04582h. and titled:

Coaxial struts and microfractured structures of compressible thermoelectric foams for self-powered pressure sensors.

Authors of this article are:
Oh J Kim JH Park KT Jo K Lee JC Kim H Son JG .

A summary of the article is shown below:
Long-term operation of wearable pressure sensors to detect body movement requires self-powered human-based energy sources to minimize the need for recharging. Recently, pressure sensors with thermoelectric properties based on conducting polymers have been reported; however, these devices are limited in their ability to simultaneously achieve sufficient power generation and sensitivity of the sensor. In this article, we suggest a coaxial strut structure of poly(styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene)(SEBS)-poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate)(PEDOT:PSS)-melamine foam (MF) with a fractured microstructure for a highly sensitive, efficient self-powered pressure sensor. In the coaxial struts, the MF core provides a compressible and elastic framework; the intermediate PEDOT:PSS acts as a conductor and a thermoelectric material; and the SEBS shell ensures mechanical stability and resilience to stabilize the brittle PEDOT:PSS layer under high loading conditions. Additionally, by compressing the coaxial foam to 1/20, partial microfracture of PEDOT:PSS occurs only in the SEBS shell; thus, the pressure sensitivity increases significantly while maintaining high conductivity and thermoelectric performance. The coaxial foam was assembled into a wearable TEG to generate 338 nW from the forearms and demonstrate the high sensitivity of pressure sensors without an external power supply.

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