Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Advisor

Yanliang Zhang, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

David Estrada, Ph.D.


Claire Xiong, Ph.D.


Rutvik Jatin Mehta, Ph.D.


Flexible thermoelectric devices are attractive power sources for the growing demand of flexible electronics and sensors. Thermoelectric generators have an advantage due to no moving parts, silent operation and constant power production with a thermal gradient.

Conventional thermoelectric devices are rigid and fabricated using complex and relatively costly manufacturing processes, presenting a barrier to increase the market share of this technology. To overcome such barriers, this work focuses on developing near ambient-temperature flexible thermoelectric generators using relatively low-cost additive manufacturing processes. A screen printable ink was developed for transforming nanoparticle ink into high-performance flexible thermoelectric generators with a peak thermoelectric figure of merit of 0.43 and 1 for the n-type and p-type materials respectively. Additionally, thermoelectric material properties were further improved using a liquid phase sintering method, which resulted in bulk like performance for printed flexible devices. Lastly, aerosol jet printable inks and photonic sintering processes were developed to highlight the potential for large scale roll-to-roll manufacturing and 3D conformal printing of thermoelectric generators.