Fujifilm Shows High-efficiency Thermoelectric Converter Using Organic Material

Feb 6, 2013
Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics
The thermoelectric converter module using an organic polymer material
The thermoelectric converter module using an organic polymer material
[Click to enlarge image]
The module used in a demonstration. When a temperature difference is created by placing a hand on the module, it generates electricity and powers a toy car.
The module used in a demonstration. When a temperature difference is created by placing a hand on the module, it generates electricity and powers a toy car.
[Click to enlarge image]

Fujifilm Corp developed a thermoelectric conversion material using an organic polymer material.

It exhibited a thermoelectric converter module using the material at nano tech 2013, which took place from Jan 30 to Feb 1, 2013, in Tokyo. The company claims that it is the organic thermoelectric conversion material showing the highest thermoelectric conversion efficiency.

Before the development of the new material, a material that was announced by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in August 2012 and uses an organic conductive polymer (PEDOT:PSS) reportedly had the world's highest performance as an organic thermoelectric conversion material.

The dimensionless performance index (ZT) of a thermoelectric conversion device using AIST's material is 0.27. But Fujifilm realized a performance higher than that, it said. The exhibited thermoelectric converter module has a power generation capacity of several milliwatts and is capable of generating electricity with a temperature difference of 1°C, the company said.

Though Fujifilm has not disclosed the details of the new organic material, it said that the material was developed in cooperation with AIST.

Fujifilm considers that the selling point of the thermoelectric converter module is that it can be manufactured by using an organic material and printing technologies. The company expects that the module will be attached to a human body to be used as a power supply for a health monitoring device and installed on the back of a photovoltaic panel to efficiently collect energy.

Fujifilm will make an announcement about the thermoelectric conversion material at the 60th JSAP Spring Meeting 2013, which will take place from March 27 to 30, 2013, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.