Large Voltage Generation of Flexible Thermoelectric Nanocrystal Thin Films by Finger Contact

Jinyong Choi, Kyoungah Cho, Junggwon Yun, Yoonbeom Park, Seunggen Yang, Sangsig Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates that thermal energy radiated from a human finger can be converted efficiently into electricity by a nanocrystal (NC) thin film that substantially suppresses thermal conduction, but still allows electric conduction. The converting efficiencies of the chalcogenide NC thin films with dimensions 40 µm × 20 µm × 20 nm, prepared on flexible substrates by a solution process, are maximized by adjusting the NC size. A Seebeck coefficient of S = 1829 µV K−1, and a dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit, ZT = 0.68 are achieved at ambient temperature for p- and n-type NC thin films, respectively. A thermoelectric array consisting of p- and n-type NC thin films generates a voltage of 645 mV for a temperature gradient of 10 K. Furthermore, the donut-shaped pn array can generate a voltage of 170 mV from the heat supplied by an individual's finger.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700972
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 8

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Mid-career Researcher Program (No. NRF-2016R1E1A1A02920171), the Brain Korea 21 Plus Project in 2017 through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and the Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • flexible
  • nanocrystal thin films
  • power generation
  • solution-processable
  • thermoelectric modules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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