All-polymer wearable thermoelectrochemical cells harvesting body heat
Wearable thermoelectrochemical cells have attracted increasing interest due to their ability to turn human body heat into electricity. Here, we have fabricated a flexible, cost-effective, and 3D porous all-polymer electrode on an electrical conductive polymer substrate via a simple 3D printing method. Owing to the high degree of electrolyte penetration into the 3D porous electrode materials for redox reactions, the all-polymer based porous 3D electrodes deliver an increased power output of more than twice that of the film electrodes under the same mass loading using either n-type or p-type gel electrolytes. To realize the practical application of our thermocell, we fabricated 18 pairs of n-p devices through a series connection of single devices. The strap shaped thermocell arrangement was able to charge up a commercial supercapacitor to 0.27 V using the body heat of the person upon which it was being worn and in turn power a typical commercial lab timer.
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Australian National Fabrication Facility