Highly transparent copper iodide thin film thermoelectric generator on a flexible substrate

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneously transparent and flexible conductive materials are in demand to follow the current trend in flexible technology. The search for materials with compliant optoelectronic properties, while simultaneously retaining their electric conductivity at high strain deformation, comprises promising opportunities in modern nanotechnology. Copper iodide (CuI) is not only the most transparent and highly conductive p-type material, but its optimization has contributed to improved ZT values in planar thin-film thermoelectrics. In this work, the readiness of CuI thin films to transparent, flexible technology is evidenced. A maximum ZT value of 0.29 for single CuI thin films of ca. 300 nm in thickness is reported. Values of open-circuit voltage Voc, short circuit current Isc and power output of p-n thermoelectric modules of Gallium-doped zinc oxide (GZO) and CuI thin films deposited on a transparent flexible Kapton® (type CS) substrate are reported, and a prototype of a flexible transparent thermoelectric generator based on 17 p-n modules was constructed. Bending analysis of CuI thin films reveals interesting, distinct results when submitted to compression and tension analysis-a behaviour not seen in conventional semiconducting thin films under equivalent strain conditions. A plausible account for such diversity is also included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35384-35391
Number of pages8
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2019


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