Development of a TEG based on Ca3Co4O9 in screen printing process

Theme Industry 4.0
Project title Development of a TEG based on Ca3Co4O9 in screen printing process (DruckTEG)
Project duration 01.10.2017 – 31.12.2019
Press release

For the operation of wireless sensor networks, energy harvesting systems are often required. Those systems ensure the functionality, where the supply of the nodes can't be realized by a supply network or battery storage. The effects used in this process are aimed at converting energy from the environment and making it usable for the operation of measuring, processing and transmitting electronics. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) use the material-specific Seebeck effect to generate an electrical power from an existing temperature gradient.

The research project investigates the use of an alternative thermoelectric material based on calcium cobalt oxide. Among the commercial TEGs, materials such as bismuthelluride dominate - the telluride contained therein is toxic and is counted as a rare-earth element. Calcium cobalt oxide offers a non-toxic, easily producible alternative with good thermoelectric properties. The aim is to develop a paste for use in an inexpensive and scalable screen printing process. By means of systematic tests and simulation processes, the material and geometry are to be adapted to the process and optimized for maximum output. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at the Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Publications about the project

The processing of ceramics is an important technology for various technical applications. In this paper, a highly
controllable process consisting of spray-coating and laser structuring to design ceramic layers on a versatile
applicable substrate is presented. A thermoelectric oxide, Ca3Co4O9, which is a type of thermoelectric material,
is used in the process and applied to a flexible ceramic substrate. The resulting structures have highly controllable
shapes and good thermoelectric properties, and they can be used to produce a printable thermoelectric
generator (TEG). The use of a flexible ceramic substrate and the high feasibility of the process lead to a universally
applicable procedure that can be used to process ceramics with unique structures and designs.

thermoelectric, printed electronic, laser structuring, printed ceramics, spray coating


The project no. 325156807 received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG).


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