Improved Performance of Heat Source Free Water-Floating Carbon Nanotube Thermoelectric Generators Controlling Wettability Using Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Jet and Waterproof Spray
Chiba, Tomoyuki, Katsuma Miura, Yuki Amma, Hiroshi Kuwahata, and Masayuki Takashiri
Advanced Materials Interfaces
Water-floating carbon nanotube thermoelectric generators (CNT-TEGs) can effectively power Internet of Things (IoT) applications. CNT-TEGs produce electricity by floating on water to generate a temperature gradient in the CNT films, where water pumping via capillary action causes evaporation-induced cooling in selected areas. However, the amount of electricity required for target applications needs to be increased. Therefore, the wettability of CNT films is controlled via various treatments to increase water evaporation and temperature difference in the films. The contact angle of the water droplet on the film surface related to the wettability decreases upon atmospheric-pressure plasma jet irradiation and increases upon waterproof spray treatment. Intermediate wettability is obtained by combining the two aforementioned treatments. Under the environmental conditions of light irradiation (1 kW m−2) and wind (3 m s−1) at a water temperature of 20 °C, the CNT-TEGs with the combined treatment exhibit a highest output voltage of 3.9 mV, which is 30% larger than that of the pristine CNT-TEG. At a water temperature of 60 °C, a highest output voltage of 13.1 mV is achieved in the pristine CNT-TEG. The performance enhancement of CNT-TEGs by controlling the wettability of CNT films under various environmental conditions can facilitate advancements in IoT technology.
Water-floating carbon nanotube thermoelectric generators (CNT-TEGs)