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Vol. 127, Issue 4, April 2011, pp.15-26




Micromachined Polycrystalline Si Thermopiles in a T-shirt

*Vladimir Leonov, **Yvonne van Andel, **Ziyang Wang, **Ruud J. M. Vullers and *Chris Van Hoof

*Imec, Smart Systems and Energy Technology Unit, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Leuven, Belgium,

Tel.: +32-16-288-367, Fax: +32-16-288-500,

**Imec / Holst Centre, High Tech Campus 31, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands

E-mail: leonov@imec.be, www.imec.be



Received: 29 March 2011   /Accepted: 22 April 2011   /Published: 30 April 2011


Abstract: The technology for in-plane poly-Si thermopiles has been developed. The bulk-micromachined thermopiles are located between two Si bars and connected thermally with those bars through thin-film thermal shunts. The patterned strips of thermocouple material together with thermal shunts form bridges between Si bars. Two versions of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) with micromachined thermopiles have been assembled and tested on a person’s wrist, and when integrated in a T-shirt. The TEG still produces less than 1 μW in the office, but at ambient temperatures below 11-13 °C it produces more than 1 μW at a voltage of more than 2 V on the matched load. The new way of integration of wearable TEG in clothing is shown. The TEG is located under the textile, and the fabric is used as a flexible radiator.


Keywords: Energy harvester, Energy scavenger, Thermoelectric generator, Wearable device, Micromachining, MEMS, Thermopile


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