Self-powered transparent flexible graphene microheaters

Usman Khan, Tae Ho Kim, Kang Hyuck Lee, Ju Hyuck Lee, Hong Joon Yoon, Ravi Bhatia, Ivaturi Sameera, Wanchul Seung, Hanjun Ryu, Christian Falconi, Sang Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Transparent and flexible (TF) microheaters are required in wearable devices, labs-on-chip, and micro-reactors. Nevertheless, conventional microheaters are rigid or opaque or both. Moreover, the resistances of conventional metallic microheaters are too low to be effectively powered by wearable energy harvesters. Here, we demonstrate the first TF microheaters by taking advantage of chemical vapor deposition (CVD)-grown graphene heating tracks and of a hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) sheet for passivation; the h-BN sheet increases the maximum temperature by ~80%. Our TF microheaters show excellent temperature uniformity and can reach temperatures above 200. °C in just 4 s, with power consumption as low as 39 mW. Additionally, since the CVD-graphene sheet resistance is orders of magnitude higher than that of typical metallic heaters, our devices can be effectively powered by wearable energy harvesters. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate the first self-powered, wearable microheater which achieves a temperature increase of 8. °C when operated by a sound driven textile-based triboelectric nanogenerator. This is a key milestone towards next generation microheaters with applications in portable/wearable personal electronics, wireless health, and remote and mobile environmental sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-365
Number of pages10
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
U. Khan and T.-H. Kim contributed equally to this work. This research was financially supported by the Center for Advanced Soft-Electronics as Global Frontier Project ( 2013M3A6A5073177 ) and Basic Science Research Program (2009-0083540) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, by the Italian Institute of Technology (Project Seed-API NANE), and by MIUR (FIRB – Futuro in Ricerca 2010 Project “Nanogeneratori di ossido di zinco ad altissima efficienza per l׳alimentazione di microsistemi impiantabili e di reti wireless di sensori”).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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