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Sample records for enhanced thermoelectric performance

  1. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of rough silicon nanowires.

    PubMed

    Hochbaum, Allon I; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz; Liang, Wenjie; Garnett, Erik C; Najarian, Mark; Majumdar, Arun; Yang, Peidong

    2008-01-10

    Approximately 90 per cent of the world's power is generated by heat engines that use fossil fuel combustion as a heat source and typically operate at 30-40 per cent efficiency, such that roughly 15 terawatts of heat is lost to the environment. Thermoelectric modules could potentially convert part of this low-grade waste heat to electricity. Their efficiency depends on the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of their material components, which is a function of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and absolute temperature. Over the past five decades it has been challenging to increase ZT > 1, since the parameters of ZT are generally interdependent. While nanostructured thermoelectric materials can increase ZT > 1 (refs 2-4), the materials (Bi, Te, Pb, Sb, and Ag) and processes used are not often easy to scale to practically useful dimensions. Here we report the electrochemical synthesis of large-area, wafer-scale arrays of rough Si nanowires that are 20-300 nm in diameter. These nanowires have Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity values that are the same as doped bulk Si, but those with diameters of about 50 nm exhibit 100-fold reduction in thermal conductivity, yielding ZT = 0.6 at room temperature. For such nanowires, the lattice contribution to thermal conductivity approaches the amorphous limit for Si, which cannot be explained by current theories. Although bulk Si is a poor thermoelectric material, by greatly reducing thermal conductivity without much affecting the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity, Si nanowire arrays show promise as high-performance, scalable thermoelectric materials. PMID:18185582

  2. Engineering Nanostructural Routes for Enhancing Thermoelectric Performance: Bulk to Nanoscale

    PubMed Central

    Mohanraman, Rajeshkumar; Lan, Tian-Wey; Hsiung, Te-Chih; Amada, Dedi; Lee, Ping-Chung; Ou, Min-Nan; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectricity is a very important phenomenon, especially its significance in heat-electricity conversion. If thermoelectric devices can be effectively applied to the recovery of the renewable energies, such as waste heat and solar energy, the energy shortage, and global warming issues may be greatly relieved. This review focusses recent developments on the thermoelectric performance of a low-dimensional material, bulk nanostructured materials, conventional bulk materials etc. Particular emphasis is given on, how the nanostructure in nanostructured composites, confinement effects in one-dimensional nanowires and doping effects in conventional bulk composites plays an important role in ZT enhancement. PMID:26913280

  3. Engineering Nanostructural Routes for Enhancing Thermoelectric Performance: Bulk to Nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Mohanraman, Rajeshkumar; Lan, Tian-Wey; Hsiung, Te-Chih; Amada, Dedi; Lee, Ping-Chung; Ou, Min-Nan; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectricity is a very important phenomenon, especially its significance in heat-electricity conversion. If thermoelectric devices can be effectively applied to the recovery of the renewable energies, such as waste heat and solar energy, the energy shortage, and global warming issues may be greatly relieved. This review focusses recent developments on the thermoelectric performance of a low-dimensional material, bulk nanostructured materials, conventional bulk materials etc. Particular emphasis is given on, how the nanostructure in nanostructured composites, confinement effects in one-dimensional nanowires and doping effects in conventional bulk composites plays an important role in ZT enhancement. PMID:26913280

  4. Using Thermoelectric Coolers to Enhance Loop Heat Pipe Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jentung; Butler, Dan; Ottenstein, Laura; Birur, Gajanana

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the following: Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) operating temperature. LHP start-up issues. How Thermoelectric Cooler (TECs) can enhance LHP performance: start-up; operating temperature control. Experimental studies: LHP with one evaporator and one condenser; LHP with two evaporators and two condensers. Conclusion.

  5. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of CdO : Ag nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Gao, Linjie; Wang, Shufang; Liu, Ran; Zha, Xinyu; Sun, Niefeng; Wang, Shujie; Wang, Jianglong; Fu, Guangsheng

    2016-07-26

    CdO : Ag nanocomposites with metallic Ag nanoparticles embedded in the polycrystalline CdO matrix were synthesized by the solid-state reaction method. The addition of Ag led to increased grain boundaries of CdO and created numerous CdO/Ag interfaces. By incorporating Ag into the CdO matrix, the power factor was increased which was probably due to the carrier energy filtering effect induced by the enhanced energy-dependent scattering of electrons. In addition, reduced thermal conductivity was also achieved by stronger phonon scattering from grain boundaries, CdO/Ag interfaces and Ag nanoparticles. These concomitant effects resulted in enhanced ZT values for all CdO : Ag nanocomposites, demonstrating that the strategy of introducing metallic Ag nanoparticles into the CdO host was very effective in optimizing the thermoelectric performance. PMID:27411573

  6. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of carbon nanotubes at elevated temperature.

    PubMed

    Jiang, P H; Liu, H J; Fan, D D; Cheng, L; Wei, J; Zhang, J; Liang, J H; Shi, J

    2015-11-01

    The electronic and transport properties of the (10, 0) single-walled carbon nanotube are studied by performing first-principles calculations and semi-classical Boltzmann theory. It is found that the (10, 0) tube exhibits a considerably large Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity which are highly desirable for good thermoelectric materials. Together with the lattice thermal conductivity predicted by non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations, the room temperature ZT value of the (10, 0) tube is estimated to be 0.15 for p-type carriers. Moreover, the ZT value exhibits strong temperature dependence and can reach to 0.77 at 1000 K. Such a ZT value can be further enhanced to as high as 1.9 by isotopic substitution and chemisorptions of hydrogen on the tube surface. PMID:26426972

  7. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance and Anomalous Seebeck Effects in Topological Insulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yong; Gan, Zhongxue; Zhang, Shou-Cheng

    2014-06-01

    Improving the thermoelectric figure of merit zT is one of the greatest challenges in material science. The recent discovery of topological insulators (TIs) offers new promise in this prospect. In this work, we demonstrate theoretically that zT is strongly size dependent in TIs, and the size parameter can be tuned to enhance zT to be significantly greater than 1. Furthermore, we show that the lifetime of the edge states in TIs is strongly energy dependent, leading to large and anomalous Seebeck effects with an opposite sign to the Hall effect. These striking properties make TIs a promising material for thermoelectric science and technology.

  8. Thermoelectric Performance Enhancement by Surrounding Crystalline Semiconductors with Metallic Nanoparticles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun-Jung; King, Glen C.; Park, Yeonjoon; Lee, Kunik; Choi, Sang H.

    2011-01-01

    Direct conversion of thermal energy to electricity by thermoelectric (TE) devices may play a key role in future energy production and utilization. However, relatively poor performance of current TE materials has slowed development of new energy conversion applications. Recent reports have shown that the dimensionless Figure of Merit, ZT, for TE devices can be increased beyond the state-of-the-art level by nanoscale structuring of materials to reduce their thermal conductivity. New morphologically designed TE materials have been fabricated at the NASA Langley Research Center, and their characterization is underway. These newly designed materials are based on semiconductor crystal grains whose surfaces are surrounded by metallic nanoparticles. The nanoscale particles are used to tailor the thermal and electrical conduction properties for TE applications by altering the phonon and electron transport pathways. A sample of bismuth telluride decorated with metallic nanoparticles showed less thermal conductivity and twice the electrical conductivity at room temperature as compared to pure Bi2Te3. Apparently, electrons cross easily between semiconductor crystal grains via the intervening metallic nanoparticle bridges, but phonons are scattered at the interfacing gaps. Hence, if the interfacing gap is larger than the mean free path of the phonon, thermal energy transmission from one grain to others is reduced. Here we describe the design and analysis of these new materials that offer substantial improvements in thermoelectric performance.

  9. Enhancing thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3-based nanostructures through rational structure design.

    PubMed

    Hong, Min; Chen, Zhi-Gang; Yang, Lei; Zou, Jin

    2016-04-28

    Nanostructuring has been successfully employed to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3 due to its obtained low thermal conductivity. In order to further reduce the thermal conductivity, we designed a hierarchical nanostructure assembled with well-aligned Bi2Te3 nanoplates using Te nanotubes as templates by a facile microwave-assisted solvothermal synthesis. From the comparisons of their thermoelectric performance and theoretical calculations with simple Bi2Te3 nanostructures, we found that Te/Bi2Te3 hierarchical nanostructures exhibit a higher figure-of-merit due to the optimized reduced Fermi level and enhanced phonon scattering, as well as the suppressed bipolar conduction. This study provides an effective approach to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3-based nanostructures by rationally designing the nanostructures. PMID:27050933

  10. Inhomogeneous thermal conductivity enhances thermoelectric cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Tingyu; Zhou, Jun; Li, Nianbei; Yang, Ronggui; Li, Baowen

    2014-12-01

    We theoretically investigate the enhancement of thermoelectric cooling performance in thermoelectric refrigerators made of materials with inhomogeneous thermal conductivity, beyond the usual practice of enhancing thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of materials. The dissipation of the Joule heat in such thermoelectric refrigerators is asymmetric which can give rise to better thermoelectric cooling performance. Although the thermoelectric figure of merit and the coefficient-of-performance are slightly enhanced, both the maximum cooling power and the maximum cooling temperature difference can be enhanced significantly. This finding can be used to increase the heat absorption at the cold end. We further find that the asymmetric dissipation of Joule heat leads to thermal rectification.

  11. Enhancing thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3-based nanostructures through rational structure design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Min; Chen, Zhi-Gang; Yang, Lei; Zou, Jin

    2016-04-01

    Nanostructuring has been successfully employed to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3 due to its obtained low thermal conductivity. In order to further reduce the thermal conductivity, we designed a hierarchical nanostructure assembled with well-aligned Bi2Te3 nanoplates using Te nanotubes as templates by a facile microwave-assisted solvothermal synthesis. From the comparisons of their thermoelectric performance and theoretical calculations with simple Bi2Te3 nanostructures, we found that Te/Bi2Te3 hierarchical nanostructures exhibit a higher figure-of-merit due to the optimized reduced Fermi level and enhanced phonon scattering, as well as the suppressed bipolar conduction. This study provides an effective approach to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3-based nanostructures by rationally designing the nanostructures.Nanostructuring has been successfully employed to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3 due to its obtained low thermal conductivity. In order to further reduce the thermal conductivity, we designed a hierarchical nanostructure assembled with well-aligned Bi2Te3 nanoplates using Te nanotubes as templates by a facile microwave-assisted solvothermal synthesis. From the comparisons of their thermoelectric performance and theoretical calculations with simple Bi2Te3 nanostructures, we found that Te/Bi2Te3 hierarchical nanostructures exhibit a higher figure-of-merit due to the optimized reduced Fermi level and enhanced phonon scattering, as well as the suppressed bipolar conduction. This study provides an effective approach to enhance the thermoelectric performance of Bi2Te3-based nanostructures by rationally designing the nanostructures. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: XRD patterns, SEM and TEM images of as-synthesized Te nanotubes. See DOI: 10.1039/c6nr00719h

  12. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of PEDOT:PSS flexible bulky papers by treatment with secondary dopants.

    PubMed

    Mengistie, Desalegn A; Chen, Chang-Hsiao; Boopathi, Karunakara M; Pranoto, Ferry W; Li, Lain-Jong; Chu, Chih-Wei

    2015-01-14

    For inorganic thermoelectric materials, Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity are interdependent, and hence optimization of thermoelectric performance is challenging. In this work we show that thermoelectric performance of PEDOT:PSS can be enhanced by greatly improving its electrical conductivity in contrast to inorganic thermoelectric materials. Free-standing flexible and smooth PEDOT:PSS bulky papers were prepared using vacuum-assisted filtration. The electrical conductivity was enhanced to 640, 800, 1300, and 1900 S cm(-1) by treating PEDOT:PSS with ethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, methanol, and formic acid, respectively. The Seebeck coefficient did not show significant variation with the tremendous conductivity enhancement being 21.4 and 20.6 μV K(-1) for ethylene glycol- and formic acid-treated papers, respectively. This is because secondary dopants, which increase electrical conductivity, do not change oxidation level of PEDOT. A maximum power factor of 80.6 μW m(-1) K(-2) was shown for formic acid-treated samples, while it was only 29.3 μW m(-1) K(-2) for ethylene glycol treatment. Coupled with intrinsically low thermal conductivity of PEDOT:PSS, ZT ≈ 0.32 was measured at room temperature using Harman method. We investigated the reasons behind the greatly enhanced thermoelectric performance. PMID:25475257

  13. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in the Rashba semiconductor BiTeI through band gap engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Zhang, Tiansong; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2016-03-01

    Rashba semiconductors are of great interest in spintronics, superconducting electronics and thermoelectrics. Bulk BiTeI is a new Rashba system with a giant spin-split band structure. 2D-like thermoelectric response has been found in BiTeI. However, as optimizing the carrier concentration, the bipolar effect occurs at elevated temperature and deteriorates the thermoelectric performance of BiTeI. In this paper, band gap engineering in Rashba semiconductor BiTeI through Br-substitution successfully reduces the bipolar effect and improves the thermoelectric properties. By utilizing the optical absorption and Burstein-Moss-effect analysis, we find that the band gap in Rashba semiconductor BiTeI increases upon bromine substitution, which is consistent with theoretical predictions. Bipolar transport is mitigated due to the larger band gap, as the thermally-activated minority carriers diminish. Consequently, the Seebeck coefficient keeps increasing with a corresponding rise in temperature, and thermoelectric performance can thus be enhanced with a ZT  =  0.5 at 570 K for BiTeI0.88Br0.12.

  14. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in the Rashba semiconductor BiTeI through band gap engineering.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Zhang, Tiansong; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2016-03-01

    Rashba semiconductors are of great interest in spintronics, superconducting electronics and thermoelectrics. Bulk BiTeI is a new Rashba system with a giant spin-split band structure. 2D-like thermoelectric response has been found in BiTeI. However, as optimizing the carrier concentration, the bipolar effect occurs at elevated temperature and deteriorates the thermoelectric performance of BiTeI. In this paper, band gap engineering in Rashba semiconductor BiTeI through Br-substitution successfully reduces the bipolar effect and improves the thermoelectric properties. By utilizing the optical absorption and Burstein-Moss-effect analysis, we find that the band gap in Rashba semiconductor BiTeI increases upon bromine substitution, which is consistent with theoretical predictions. Bipolar transport is mitigated due to the larger band gap, as the thermally-activated minority carriers diminish. Consequently, the Seebeck coefficient keeps increasing with a corresponding rise in temperature, and thermoelectric performance can thus be enhanced with a ZT  =  0.5 at 570 K for BiTeI0.88Br0.12. PMID:26829207

  15. Exchange and electric fields enhanced spin thermoelectric performance of germanene nano-ribbon.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jun; Chi, Feng; Guo, Yong

    2015-07-29

    The spin thermoelectric performance in a germanene nano-ribbon is studied by using the nonequilibrium Green's function method. We demonstrate theoretically that the temperature bias [Formula: see text] can generate spin thermopower when an exchange field breaks the edge states of germanene leads. However, the spin thermoelectric efficiency is quite low with its maximum [Formula: see text]. When applying strong electric field in the central region, a relatively large spin-dependent band gap can be opened, and hence the spin figure of merit is predicted to be more than 100 times larger than the case without external field. The remarkably enhancement of [Formula: see text] (larger than one) comes from the suppression of the thermal conductance and the improvement of the spin Seebeck effect. These striking properties make ferromagnetic leads germanene nano-ribbon a promising pure spin thermoelectric nanogenerator. PMID:26139695

  16. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of nanostructured topological insulator Bi2Se3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, G. L.; Li, L. L.; Qin, X. Y.; Li, D.; Zou, T. H.; Xin, H. X.; Ren, B. J.; Zhang, J.; Li, Y. Y.; Li, X. J.

    2015-02-01

    To enhance thermoelectric performance by utilizing topological properties of topological insulators has attracted increasing attention. Here, we show that as grain size decreases from microns to ˜80 nm in thickness, the electron mobility μ increases steeply from 12-15 cm2 V-1 s-1 to ˜600 cm2 V-1 s-1, owing to the contribution of increased topologically protected conducting surfaces. Simultaneously, its lattice thermal conductivity is lowered by ˜30%-50% due to enhanced phonon scattering from the increased grain boundaries. As a result, thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, of all the fine-grained samples is improved. Specifically, a maximum value of ZT = ˜0.63 is achieved for Bi2Se3 at T = ˜570 K.

  17. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of amorphous Nb based oxynitrides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Music, Denis; Geyer, Richard W.; Hans, Marcus

    2015-12-01

    Using density functional theory, amorphous Nb0.27Ru0.06O0.56N0.10 was designed to facilitate a combination of an enhanced Seebeck coefficient and low electrical resistivity. Based on a positive Cauchy pressure, ductile behavior is expected. To verify these predictions, the transport and mechanical properties of amorphous thin films were evaluated. Metallic electrical resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient of -94 μV K-1 are obtained, which is consistent with our predictions. As there is no crack formation, these samples can be perceived as ductile. We demonstrate that the power factor can be increased by an order of magnitude, while keeping the thermal fatigue low.

  18. Enhanced performance of dispenser printed MA n-type Bi₂Te₃ composite thermoelectric generators.

    PubMed

    Madan, Deepa; Wang, Zuoqian; Chen, Alic; Juang, Rei-Cheng; Keist, Jay; Wright, Paul K; Evans, Jim W

    2012-11-01

    This work presents performance advancements of dispenser printed composite thermoelectric materials and devices. Dispenser printed thick films allow for low-cost and scalable manufacturing of microscale energy harvesting devices. A maximum ZT value of 0.31 has been achieved for mechanically alloyed (MA) n-type Bi₂Te₃-epoxy composite films with 1 wt % Se cured at 350 °C. The enhancement of ZT is a result of increase in the electrical conductivity through the addition of Se, which ultimately lowers the sintering temperature (350 °C). A 62 single-leg thermoelectric generator (TEG) prototype with 5 mm ×700 μm × 120 μm printed element dimensions was fabricated on a custom designed polyimide substrate with thick metal contacts. The prototype device produced a power output of 25 μW at 0.23 mA current and 109 mV voltage for a temperature difference of 20 °C, which is sufficient for low power generation for autonomous microsystem applications. PMID:23130550

  19. Theoretical survey of doped sodium cobaltate and strategies for enhancing the thermoelectric performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assadi, M. Hussein N.; Katayama-Yoshida, Hiroshi

    2015-03-01

    Doped Nax CoO2 is suitable for highly efficient thermoelectric conversion at ~ 1000 K. However, due to complex lattice structure and strong correlation effects, atomistic understanding of dopant's influence is challenging to resolve experimentally. We examined a wide range of dopants' electronic structures using density functional method. We found that dopants like Mg, Ba, Sr, Au and Eu always substitute Na for all Na concentrations. In contrast, dopants like Ni, Bi, W, Sb and Sn always substitute Co regardless of Na concentration. Furthermore, there is a third class of dopants like Cu and Y that substitute Na for x <= 0 . 5 , but for higher Na concentrations, they substitute Co. In the case of MgNa , we could experimentally verify Mg's local chemical environment using Raman spectroscopy therefore validating the theoretical results. The implication of Na-substituting dopants on thermoelectric performance is the immobilization of Na ions which behave similar to ionic liquid in pristine Nax CoO2 . This immobilization reduces the resistivity by improving the mobility of carriers and thus enhancing the thermo-power. This work was supported by JSPS and Intersect.

  20. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Performance by Reducing Phonon Thermal Conductance in Multiple Core-shell Nanowires

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wu-Xing; Chen, Ke-Qiu

    2014-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of multiple core-shell nanowires are investigated by using nonequilibrium Green's function method and molecular dynamics simulations. The results show that the thermoelectric performance of multiple core-shell NWs can be improved observably with the increase of shell number compared with the single component NWs due to the significant reduction of phonon thermal conductance. The ZT value of multiple core-shell NWs can reach three times greater than that of the single component GaSb NWs at room temperature. Moreover, the ZT values of both the core-shell NWs and single component NWs are increased with the increasing temperature, but the ZT value of core-shell NWs increases more slowly than that of single component NWs. These results show that the single component NWs is suitable as thermoelectric material at much high temperature, but the multiple core-shell NWs is more suitable as thermoelectric material at room temperature. PMID:25413874

  1. Pressure-induced semimetal-semiconductor transition and enhancement of thermoelectric performance in α-MgAgSb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, Naihua; Zhou, Jian; Sa, Baisheng; Xu, Bin; Sun, Zhimei

    2016-05-01

    Comparable to bismuth telluride, α-MgAgSb-based materials (α-MAS) have been investigated recently as promising candidates for room-temperature thermoelectric energy harvesting and thus various efforts have been devoted to the enhancement of their thermoelectric performance. By utilizing first-principles density functional calculations and Boltzmann transport theory, we report that the thermoelectric properties of α-MAS can be dramatically improved with the application of hydrostatic pressure. This is attributed to a pressure-induced semimetal to semiconductor transition in α-MAS. With the benefit of this pressure-tunable behaviour, the Seebeck coefficient of α-MAS can be manipulated flexibly. Furthermore, we found that, through the combination of applying pressure and p-type doping, the optimal thermoelectric power factor and figure of merit of α-MAS can be enhanced remarkably by 110% at 550 K compared with the intrinsic case. Our results provide an interesting insight and a feasible guideline for the improvement of the thermoelectric properties of α-MAS related materials.

  2. Ultrahigh power factor and enhanced thermoelectric performance of individual Te/TiS2 nanocables.

    PubMed

    Li, Rui; Dui, Jingna; Fu, Yunlong; Xu, Yanling; Zhou, Shaomin

    2016-10-14

    Here, we present the successful fabrication of Te/TiS2 heterostructure nanocables with enhanced thermoelectric (TE) performance by a two-step route (a facile solvothermal approach for Te nanowires and then the Te nanowires are used as templates for the controllable growth of the Te/TiS2 nanocables), which is scalable for practical nanodevice applications. The heterostructure nanocables of different sizes can be prepared by varying the synthetic composition. Measurements of the Seebeck coefficient (S), electrical conductivity (σ), and thermal conductivity (κ) are carried out on the same nanowires over a temperature range of 2-350 K. The heterostructure nanocables show an ultrahigh power factor (S(2) σ) with a maximum value of 0.58 Wm(-1) K(-2), which comes from a high electrical conductivity and a strongly enhanced Seebeck coefficient. The figure of merit (ZT) can reach 1.91 at room temperature from a single nanocable with a diameter of 60 nm, which is thought to contribute to the formation of the hetero-phase core/shell structure. These results are expected to open up new application possibilities in nanoscale TE devices based on individual Te/TiS2 heterostructure nanocables. PMID:27595302

  3. High-Performance Thermoelectric Semiconductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Caillat, Thierry; Borshchevsky, Alexander

    1994-01-01

    Figures of merit almost double current state-of-art thermoelectric materials. IrSb3 is semiconductor found to exhibit exceptional thermoelectric properties. CoSb3 and RhSb3 have same skutterudite crystallographic structure as IrSb3, and exhibit exceptional transport properties expected to contribute to high thermoelectric performance. These three compounds form solid solutions. Combination of properties offers potential for development of new high-performance thermoelectric materials for more efficient thermoelectric power generators, coolers, and detectors.

  4. Thermoelectric performance enhancement of calcium cobaltite through barium grain boundary segregation.

    PubMed

    Carvillo, Paulo; Chen, Yun; Boyle, Cullen; Barnes, Paul N; Song, Xueyan

    2015-09-21

    We report the dramatic increase of the Seebeck coefficient S and thermoelectric performance of calcium cobaltite Ca3Co4O9+δ ceramics through non-stoichiometric addition of minute amount of Ba. The nominal chemistry of polycrystal pellets are Ca3BaxCo4O9+δ (x = 0, 0.01, 0.05, and 0.1). At 323 K, S of Ca3Co4O9+δ is 135 μV K(-1), whereas S of Ba incorporated Ca3Ba0.05Co4O9+δ is 162.5 μV·K(-1), which is the highest S value near room temperature regime reported for calcium cobaltite. The increase of S for Ca3Ba0.05Co4O9+δ sample is accompanied by the decrease of the electrical resistivity ρ, resulting in high power factor S(2)/ρ of 843 μW·m(-1) K(-2) at 1007 K. Moreover, the thermal conductivities κ of Ca3BaxCo4O9+δ decrease with the increase of the Ba addition. The figure-of-merit ZT for Ca3Ba0.05Co4O9+δ reaches 0.52 at 1073 K and a factor of 2.5 increment in comparison with undoped Ca3Co4O9+δ. Nanostructure examinations show that the added Ba segregated at the Ca3Co4O9+δ grain boundaries, while the Ca3Co4O9+δ grain interior is free of Ba. Performance enhancement is attributed to the carrier filtering effect caused by the Ba segregation. In addition, Ba segregation promotes the better crystal alignment and the development of crystal texture. PMID:26357956

  5. Solvothermal synthesis of wire-like SnxSb2Te3+x with an enhanced thermoelectric performance.

    PubMed

    Yang, Heng Quan; Miao, Lei; Liu, Cheng Yan; Wang, Xiao Yang; Peng, Ying; Zhang, Ai Juan; Zhou, Xiao Yuan; Wang, Guo Yu; Li, Chao; Huang, Rong

    2016-04-25

    Nanostructured tellurides have attracted increasing attention in thermoelectric applications for waste heat recovery and cooling devices. Here, we report on the synthesis of wire-like SnxSb2Te3+x (x = 0, 0.02 and 0.05) nanoparticles using elemental precursors in EG. The enhanced thermoelectric performance was achieved in alloyed samples due to the increase of carrier population in heavy valence band valleys by incorporating Sn(2+) at the Sb(3+) sublattice, enabling the simultaneous realization of low electrical resistivity along with a high Seebeck coefficient as well as the decline of thermal conductivity. Thus a boosted power factor and low thermal conductivity lead to the highest ZT value of 0.58 at 150 °C in the Sn0.02Sb2Te3.02 sample. Our research offers a general wet-chemical route for the preparation of one-dimensional nanomaterials and probably promotes the practical thermoelectric applications of Sb2Te3-based materials at low temperatures. PMID:27046535

  6. Synthesis, characterization and enhanced thermoelectric performance of structurally ordered cable-like novel polyaniline-bismuth telluride nanocomposite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Krishanu; Mitra, Mousumi; Kargupta, Kajari; Ganguly, Saibal; Banerjee, Dipali

    2013-05-01

    Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) nanorods and polyaniline (PANI) nanoparticles have been synthesized by employing solvothermal and chemical oxidative processes, respectively. Nanocomposites, comprising structurally ordered PANI preferentially grown along the surface of a Bi2Te3 nanorods template, are synthesized using in situ polymerization. X-ray powder diffraction, UV-vis and Raman spectral analysis confirm the highly ordered chain structure of PANI on Bi2Te3 nanorods, leading to a higher extent of doping, higher chain mobility and enhancement of the thermoelectric performance. Above 380 K, the PANI-Bi2Te3 nanocomposite with a core-shell/cable-like structure exhibits a higher thermoelectric power factor than either pure PANI or Bi2Te3. At room temperature the thermal conductivity of the composite is lower than that of its pure constituents, due to selective phonon scattering by the nanointerfaces designed in the PANI-Bi2Te3 nanocable structures. The figure of merit of the nanocomposite at room temperature is comparable to the values reported in the literature for bulk polymer-based composite thermoelectric materials.

  7. Synthesis, characterization and enhanced thermoelectric performance of structurally ordered cable-like novel polyaniline-bismuth telluride nanocomposite.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Krishanu; Mitra, Mousumi; Kargupta, Kajari; Ganguly, Saibal; Banerjee, Dipali

    2013-05-31

    Bismuth telluride (Bi₂Te₃) nanorods and polyaniline (PANI) nanoparticles have been synthesized by employing solvothermal and chemical oxidative processes, respectively. Nanocomposites, comprising structurally ordered PANI preferentially grown along the surface of a Bi₂Te₃ nanorods template, are synthesized using in situ polymerization. X-ray powder diffraction, UV-vis and Raman spectral analysis confirm the highly ordered chain structure of PANI on Bi₂Te₃ nanorods, leading to a higher extent of doping, higher chain mobility and enhancement of the thermoelectric performance. Above 380 K, the PANI-Bi₂Te₃ nanocomposite with a core-shell/cable-like structure exhibits a higher thermoelectric power factor than either pure PANI or Bi₂Te₃. At room temperature the thermal conductivity of the composite is lower than that of its pure constituents, due to selective phonon scattering by the nanointerfaces designed in the PANI-Bi₂Te₃ nanocable structures. The figure of merit of the nanocomposite at room temperature is comparable to the values reported in the literature for bulk polymer-based composite thermoelectric materials. PMID:23618781

  8. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of CuGaTe2 based composites incorporated with graphite nanosheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jian; Qin, Xiaoying; Li, Di; Liu, Yongfei; Li, Yuanyue; Song, Chunjun; Xin, Hongxing; Zhu, Xiaoguang

    2016-02-01

    CuGaTe2 based composites incorporated with graphite nanosheets (GNs) CuGaTe2/x G (G = GNs, 0 ≤ x ≤ 3.04 vol. %) were prepared, and the thermoelectric properties of the composites were studied from 300 to 875 K. The results show that the incorporation of GNs into the CuGaTe2 matrix can enhance the Seebeck coefficient and power factor over the whole temperature range investigated due to energy filtering effects, and the reduction of thermal conductivity below 750 K owing to interface scattering. Although the resistivity increases, energy filtering significantly raises the Seebeck component, and the overall effect on power factor is positive. The sample with 2.28 vol. % GNs had the largest ZT value, reaching 0.93 at 873 K, which is a ˜21% improvement on pure CuGaTe2.

  9. Enhancement of thermoelectric performance in InAs nanotubes by tuning quantum confinement effect

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Wu-Xing; Tan, Shihua; Chen, Ke-Qiu; Hu, Wenping

    2014-03-28

    By using the nonequilibrium Green's function method, we study the thermoelectric properties of InAs nanotubes. The results show that InAs nanotube with a certain internal diameter has much higher ZT value than nanowire due to the enhancement of quantum confinement effect leading to the increase of the power factor S{sup 2}G. The ZT value of InAs nanotube can reach 1.74, which is about three times greater than that of nanowires. Moreover, it is found that the ZT values of InAs nanotubes decrease rapidly with the increase of internal diameter, which results from the rapid increase of phonons thermal conductance due to the “red shift” of low-frequency optical phonon modes.

  10. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of Nb-doped SrTiO3 by nano-inclusion with low thermal conductivity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ning; Chen, Haijun; He, Hongcai; Norimatsu, Wataru; Kusunoki, Michiko; Koumoto, Kunihito

    2013-01-01

    Authors reported an effective path to increase the electrical conductivity while to decrease the thermal conductivity, and thus to enhance the ZT value by nano-inclusions. By this method, the ZT value of Nb-doped SrTiO3 was enhanced 9-fold by yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) nano-inclusions. YSZ inclusions, located inside grain and in triple junction, can reduce the thermal conductivity by effective interface phonon scattering, enhance the electrical conductivity by promoting the abnormal grain growth, and thus lead to the obvious enhancement of ZT value, which strongly suggests that, it is possible to not only reduce the thermal conductivity, but also increase the electrical conductivity by nano-inclusions with low thermal conductivity. This study will give some useful enlightenment to the preparation of high-performance oxide thermoelectric materials. PMID:24316665

  11. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of a quintuple layer of Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3}

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, J.; Liu, H. J. Cheng, L.; Wei, J.; Shi, J.; Tang, X. F.; Uher, C.

    2014-07-14

    The electronic structure of a quintuple layer (QL) of Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} is calculated using the first-principles pseudopotential method. It is found that the band gap of an isolated QL is considerably larger than that of bulk Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3}. The electronic transport of the QL is, then, evaluated using the semiclassical Boltzmann theory within the relaxation time approximation. By fitting the energy surface from first-principles calculations, a suitable Morse potential is constructed and used to predicate the lattice thermal conductivity via equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. By optimizing the carrier concentration of the system, the ZT of Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} QL can be enhanced to a relatively high value. Moreover, the ZT value exhibits strong temperature dependence and can reach as high as 2.0 at 800 K. This value can be further increased to 2.2 by the substitution of Bi atoms with Sb atoms, giving nominal formula of (Bi{sub 0.25}Sb{sub 0.75}){sub 2}Te{sub 3}. The significantly enhanced ZT value makes QL a very appealing candidate for thermoelectric applications.

  12. Computer modeling of thermoelectric generator performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, A. B.; Shields, V.

    1982-01-01

    Features of the DEGRA 2 computer code for simulating the operations of a spacecraft thermoelectric generator are described. The code models the physical processes occurring during operation. Input variables include the thermoelectric couple geometry and composition, the thermoelectric materials' properties, interfaces and insulation in the thermopile, the heat source characteristics, mission trajectory, and generator electrical requirements. Time steps can be specified and sublimation of the leg and hot shoe is accounted for, as are shorts between legs. Calculations are performed for conduction, Peltier, Thomson, and Joule heating, the cold junction can be adjusted for solar radition, and the legs of the thermoelectric couple are segmented to enhance the approximation accuracy. A trial run covering 18 couple modules yielded data with 0.3% accuracy with regard to test data. The model has been successful with selenide materials, SiGe, and SiN4, with output of all critical operational variables.

  13. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of TiO2-based hybrid materials by incorporating conducting polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zi-Hua; Xie, Hua-Qing; Zhai, Yong-Biao; Gan, Liang-Hua; Liu, Jun

    2015-03-01

    In order to study the thermoelectric properties of TiO2-based hybrid materials, TiO2/polyparaphenylene (PPP) nanocomposites are fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The results show that the electrical conductivity follow percolation theory is enhanced due to the electron transfer highway provided by the conducting PPP phase. Furthermore, the thermal conductivity is reduced due to the drastic difference of vibrational spectra between organic and inorganic components. As a result, the greatest ZT = 0.24 is obtained for TiO2/0.75 wt% PPP sample, which is 15-fold higher than pure TiO2 (ZT = 0.016). Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51206103), the Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, China (Grant No. 13YZ128), the Opening Project of CAS Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion, China, and the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher learning, China.

  14. Hot deformation induced defects and performance enhancement in FeSb2 thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yongzheng; Fu, Chenguang; Zhu, Tiejun; Hu, Lipeng; Jiang, Guangyu; Zhao, Guanghui; Huo, Dexuan; Zhao, Xinbing

    2013-11-01

    The effect of hot deformation induced defects and texture on thermoelectric properties of FeSb2 bulk crystals has been investigated. The transport properties of the samples along both parallel and perpendicular direction of pressing were measured from 3 K to 300 K. The results showed that thermal conductivity of the deformed samples was significantly reduced. After twice deformation, the thermal conductivity of the sample along the perpendicular direction of pressing was decreased to 4 W/mK, which was only one third of that before deformation. Transmission electron microscopy observation revealed the presence of high density of lattice defects in the deformed samples. The lattice thermal conductivity was analyzed using the Debye-Callaway approximation, and the results showed that the deformation induced lattice imperfections play an important role in enhancing phonon scattering. In addition, both the electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient exhibited a weak anisotropy in the deformed samples. The figure of merit ZT of the bulk FeSb2 was significantly improved from 0.010 to 0.021 after deformation.

  15. Hot deformation induced defects and performance enhancement in FeSb{sub 2} thermoelectric materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yongzheng; Fu, Chenguang; Zhu, Tiejun E-mail: zhaoxb@zju.edu.cn; Hu, Lipeng; Jiang, Guangyu; Zhao, Xinbing E-mail: zhaoxb@zju.edu.cn; Zhao, Guanghui; Huo, Dexuan

    2013-11-14

    The effect of hot deformation induced defects and texture on thermoelectric properties of FeSb{sub 2} bulk crystals has been investigated. The transport properties of the samples along both parallel and perpendicular direction of pressing were measured from 3 K to 300 K. The results showed that thermal conductivity of the deformed samples was significantly reduced. After twice deformation, the thermal conductivity of the sample along the perpendicular direction of pressing was decreased to 4 W/mK, which was only one third of that before deformation. Transmission electron microscopy observation revealed the presence of high density of lattice defects in the deformed samples. The lattice thermal conductivity was analyzed using the Debye-Callaway approximation, and the results showed that the deformation induced lattice imperfections play an important role in enhancing phonon scattering. In addition, both the electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient exhibited a weak anisotropy in the deformed samples. The figure of merit ZT of the bulk FeSb{sub 2} was significantly improved from 0.010 to 0.021 after deformation.

  16. High Performance Oxides-Based Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Guangkun; Lan, Jinle; Zeng, Chengcheng; Liu, Yaochun; Zhan, Bin; Butt, Sajid; Lin, Yuan-Hua; Nan, Ce-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials have attracted much attention due to their applications in waste-heat recovery, power generation, and solid state cooling. In comparison with thermoelectric alloys, oxide semiconductors, which are thermally and chemically stable in air at high temperature, are regarded as the candidates for high-temperature thermoelectric applications. However, their figure-of-merit ZT value has remained low, around 0.1-0.4 for more than 20 years. The poor performance in oxides is ascribed to the low electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity. Since the electrical transport properties in these thermoelectric oxides are strongly correlated, it is difficult to improve both the thermoelectric power and electrical conductivity simultaneously by conventional methods. This review summarizes recent progresses on high-performance oxide-based thermoelectric bulk-materials including n-type ZnO, SrTiO3, and In2O3, and p-type Ca3Co4O9, BiCuSeO, and NiO, enhanced by heavy-element doping, band engineering and nanostructuring.

  17. Enhanced thermoelectric performance and novel nanopores in AgSbTe{sub 2} prepared by melt spinning

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Baoli; Li, Han; Xu, Jingjing; Tang, Xinfeng; Uher, Ctirad

    2011-01-15

    We report a melt-spinning spark-plasma-sintering synthesis process of the polycrystalline p-type material composed of AgSbTe{sub 2} coarse grains and evenly formed 5-10 nm pores that occur primarily on the surface of matrix grains. The formation mechanism of nanopores and their influences on the thermoelectric properties have been studied and correlated. Microstructure analysis shows that the as-prepared sample can be regarded as a nanocomposite of matrix and in situ generated nanopores evenly coated on matrix grains. For the single-phase component and the possible energy-filter effect caused by the nanopores, the electrical transport properties are improved. Moreover, the thermal conductivity is significantly reduced by strong phonon scattering effect resulted from the nanopores. The thermoelectric performance of the as prepared sample enhances greatly and a ZT of 1.65 at 570 K is achieved, increasing{approx}200% compared with the sample prepared by traditional melt and slow-cooling method. -- Graphical abstract: Representative nanostructure of AgSbTe{sub 2} sample (a) ribbons obtained after melt spinning (b) bulk AgSbTe{sub 2} material obtained after spark plasma sintering. Display Omitted

  18. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Cu-Intercalated BiTeI by Compensation Weakening Induced Mobility Improvement.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Chi, Miaofang; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2015-01-01

    The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show that intercalation of minor Cu-dopants can substantially alter the equilibria of defect reactions, selectively mediate the donor-acceptor compensation, and tune the defect concentration in the carrier conductive network. Consequently, the potential fluctuations responsible for electron scattering are reduced and the carrier mobility in BiTeI can be enhanced by a factor of two to three between 10 K and 300 K. The carrier concentration can also be optimized by tuning the Te/I composition ratio, leading to higher thermopower in this Rashba system. Cu-intercalation in BiTeI gives rise to higher power factor, slightly lower lattice thermal conductivity, and consequently improved figure of merit. Compared with pristine BiTe0.98I1.02, the TE performance in Cu0.05BiTeI reveals a 150% and 20% enhancement at 300 and 520 K, respectively. These results demonstrate that defect equilibria mediated by selective doping in complex TE and energy materials could be an effective approach to carrier mobility and performance optimization. PMID:26394841

  19. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Cu-Intercalated BiTeI by Compensation Weakening Induced Mobility Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Chi, Miaofang; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2015-01-01

    The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show that intercalation of minor Cu-dopants can substantially alter the equilibria of defect reactions, selectively mediate the donor-acceptor compensation, and tune the defect concentration in the carrier conductive network. Consequently, the potential fluctuations responsible for electron scattering are reduced and the carrier mobility in BiTeI can be enhanced by a factor of two to three between 10 K and 300 K. The carrier concentration can also be optimized by tuning the Te/I composition ratio, leading to higher thermopower in this Rashba system. Cu-intercalation in BiTeI gives rise to higher power factor, slightly lower lattice thermal conductivity, and consequently improved figure of merit. Compared with pristine BiTe0.98I1.02, the TE performance in Cu0.05BiTeI reveals a 150% and 20% enhancement at 300 and 520 K, respectively. These results demonstrate that defect equilibria mediated by selective doping in complex TE and energy materials could be an effective approach to carrier mobility and performance optimization. PMID:26394841

  20. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Cu-Intercalated BiTeI by Compensation Weakening Induced Mobility Improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Chi, Miaofang; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2015-09-01

    The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show that intercalation of minor Cu-dopants can substantially alter the equilibria of defect reactions, selectively mediate the donor-acceptor compensation, and tune the defect concentration in the carrier conductive network. Consequently, the potential fluctuations responsible for electron scattering are reduced and the carrier mobility in BiTeI can be enhanced by a factor of two to three between 10 K and 300 K. The carrier concentration can also be optimized by tuning the Te/I composition ratio, leading to higher thermopower in this Rashba system. Cu-intercalation in BiTeI gives rise to higher power factor, slightly lower lattice thermal conductivity, and consequently improved figure of merit. Compared with pristine BiTe0.98I1.02, the TE performance in Cu0.05BiTeI reveals a 150% and 20% enhancement at 300 and 520 K, respectively. These results demonstrate that defect equilibria mediated by selective doping in complex TE and energy materials could be an effective approach to carrier mobility and performance optimization.

  1. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in Cu-intercalated BiTeI by compensation weakening induced mobility improvement

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Chi, Miaofang; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2015-09-23

    The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show that intercalation of minor Cu-dopants can substantially alter the equilibria of defect reactions, selectively mediate the donor-acceptor compensation, and tune the defect concentration in the carrier conductive network. Consequently, the potential fluctuations responsible for electron scattering are reduced and the carrier mobility in BiTeI can be enhanced by amore » factor of two to three between 10 K and 300 K. The carrier concentration can also be optimized by tuning the Te/I composition ratio, leading to higher thermopower in this Rashba system. Cu-intercalation in BiTeI gives rise to higher power factor, slightly lower lattice thermal conductivity, and consequently improved figure of merit. Compared with pristine BiTe0.98I1.02, the TE performance in Cu0.05BiTeI reveals a 150% and 20% enhancement at 300 and 520 K, respectively. Ultimately, these results demonstrate that defect equilibria mediated by selective doping in complex TE and energy materials could be an effective approach to carrier mobility and performance optimization.« less

  2. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in Cu-intercalated BiTeI by compensation weakening induced mobility improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Lihua; Yang, Jiong; Chi, Miaofang; Wang, Shanyu; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Yang, Jihui

    2015-09-23

    The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show that intercalation of minor Cu-dopants can substantially alter the equilibria of defect reactions, selectively mediate the donor-acceptor compensation, and tune the defect concentration in the carrier conductive network. Consequently, the potential fluctuations responsible for electron scattering are reduced and the carrier mobility in BiTeI can be enhanced by a factor of two to three between 10 K and 300 K. The carrier concentration can also be optimized by tuning the Te/I composition ratio, leading to higher thermopower in this Rashba system. Cu-intercalation in BiTeI gives rise to higher power factor, slightly lower lattice thermal conductivity, and consequently improved figure of merit. Compared with pristine BiTe0.98I1.02, the TE performance in Cu0.05BiTeI reveals a 150% and 20% enhancement at 300 and 520 K, respectively. Ultimately, these results demonstrate that defect equilibria mediated by selective doping in complex TE and energy materials could be an effective approach to carrier mobility and performance optimization.

  3. Current Pulses Momentarily Enhance Thermoelectric Cooling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Caillat, Thierry; Chen, Gang; Yang, Rong Gui

    2004-01-01

    The rates of cooling afforded by thermoelectric (Peltier) devices can be increased for short times by applying pulses of electric current greater than the currents that yield maximum steady-state cooling. It has been proposed to utilize such momentary enhancements of cooling in applications in which diode lasers and other semiconductor devices are required to operate for times of the order of milliseconds at temperatures too low to be easily obtainable in the steady state. In a typical contemplated application, a semiconductor device would be in contact with the final (coldest) somewhat taller stage of a multistage thermoelectric cooler. Steady current would be applied to the stages to produce steady cooling. Pulsed current would then be applied, enhancing the cooling of the top stage momentarily. The principles of operation are straightforward: In a thermoelectric device, the cooling occurs only at a junction at one end of the thermoelectric legs, at a rate proportional to the applied current. However, Joule heating occurs throughout the device at a rate proportional to the current squared. Hence, in the steady state, the steady temperature difference that the device can sustain increases with current only to the point beyond which the Joule heating dominates. If a pulse of current greater than the optimum current (the current for maximum steady cooling) is applied, then the junction becomes momentarily cooled below its lowest steady temperature until thermal conduction brings the resulting pulse of Joule heat to the junction and thereby heats the junction above its lowest steady temperature. A theoretical and experimental study of such transient thermoelectric cooling followed by transient Joule heating in response to current pulses has been performed. The figure presents results from one of the experiments. The study established the essential parameters that characterize the pulse cooling effect, including the minimum temperature achieved, the maximum

  4. High Performance Bulk Thermoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Zhifeng

    2013-03-31

    Over 13 plus years, we have carried out research on electron pairing symmetry of superconductors, growth and their field emission property studies on carbon nanotubes and semiconducting nanowires, high performance thermoelectric materials and other interesting materials. As a result of the research, we have published 104 papers, have educated six undergraduate students, twenty graduate students, nine postdocs, nine visitors, and one technician.

  5. Enhancement of thermoelectric performance in composite materials through locally-modulated doping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Michael J.; Jin, Hyungyu; Heremans, Joseph P.

    2015-03-01

    Composites of organic or inorganic constituents are often considered as a way to yield high thermoelectric figure of merit. The limit of this approach is set by the effective medium theory, which demonstrates formally that a composite of two materials A and B cannot have higher figure of merit than the highest of either A or B, in the absence of interaction between A and B. In this work, we show that this limit can be lifted by introducing into a host material a second phase that behaves differently vis-a-vis electrons than vis-a-vis phonons. This phase consists of electrically and thermally insulating islands of material that locally dope the semiconducting host. Doped material near the islands provides electrically conductive volumes for charge carriers. Phonons, unaffected by local doping, are scattered by the islands. Thermopower is less affected by the doped regions than electrical conductivity, by an intrinsic mathematical property of the effective medium theory. We employ this concept in Bi1-xSbx alloys and in p-type (Bi1-xSbx)2 Te3 compounds, which are known as good thermoelectric materials at cryogenic and room temperatures, respectively. Experimental transport data and the local microscopic characterizations of the samples are presented. Supported by DOE US-China Clean Energy Research Center SubK 3002041929, and by AFOSR MURI FA9550-10-1-0533.

  6. Spinodally Decomposed PbSe-PbTe Nanoparticles for High-Performance Thermoelectrics: Enhanced Phonon Scattering and Unusual Transport Behavior.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Seok; Lee, Woo-Jin; Cho, Ki-Hyun; Ahn, Jae-Pyoung; Sung, Yun-Mo

    2016-07-26

    Dramatic enhancements in the figure of merit have been obtained in bulk thermoelectric materials by doping, band engineering, and nanostructuring. Especially, in p-type thermoelectrics, high figure of merits near 2.0 have been reported in a few papers through the reduction in lattice thermal conductivity and the advancement in power factors. However, there exists no report on the n-type systems showing high figure of merits because of their intrinsically low Seebeck coefficients. Here, we demonstrate that a nanostructured bulk n-type thermoelectric material that was assembled by sintering spinodally decomposed lead chalcogenide nanoparticles having a composition of PbSe0.5Te0.5 reaches a high figure of merit of 1.85. The spinodally decomposed nanoparticles permit our thermoelectric material to have extremely low lattice thermal conductivity and a high power factor as a result of nanostructuring, electronic optimization, insertion of an impurity phase and phase change in local areas. We propose that this interesting concept would be one of the promising approaches that overcome limitation arising from the fact that most parameters in the figure of merit are closely correlated. PMID:27397515

  7. Supramolecular Thermo-Electrochemical Cells: Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance by Host-Guest Complexation and Salt-Induced Crystallization.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Hongyao; Yamada, Teppei; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2016-08-24

    Thermo-electrochemical cells have potential to generate thermoelectric voltage 1 order higher than that given by semiconductor materials. To overcome the current issues in thermoelectric energy conversion, it is of paramount importance to grow and fulfill the full potential of thermo-electrochemical cells. Here we report a rational supramolecular methodology that yielded the highest Seebeck coefficient of ca. 2.0 mV K(-1) around ambient temperatures. This is based on the encapsulation of triiodide ions in α-cyclodextrin, whose equilibrium is shifted to the complexation at lower temperatures, whereas it is inverted at elevated temperatures. This temperature-dependent host-guest interaction provides a concentration gradient of redox ion pairs between two electrodes, leading to the eminent performance of the thermo-electrochemical cells. The figure of merit for this system, zT reached a high value of 5 × 10(-3). The introduction of host-guest chemistry to thermoelectric cells thus provides a new perspective in thermoelectric energy conversion. PMID:27508406

  8. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Cu2CdSnSe4 by Mn Doping: Experimental and First Principles Studies

    PubMed Central

    Liu, F. S.; Zheng, J. X.; Huang, M. J.; He, L. P.; Ao, W. Q.; Pan, F.; Li, J. Q.

    2014-01-01

    Serials of Mn doping by substituting Cd sites on Cu2CdSnSe4 are prepared by the melting method and the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique to form Cu2Cd1−xMnxSnSe4. Our experimental and theoretical studies show that the moderate Mn doping by substituting Cd sites is an effective method to improve the thermoelectric performance of Cu2CdSnSe4. The electrical resistivity is decreased by about a factor of 4 at 723 K after replacing Cd with Mn, but the seebeck coefficient decreases only slightly from 356 to 289 μV/K, resulting in the significant increase of the power factor. Although the thermal conductivity increases with the doping content of Mn, the figure of merit (ZT) is still increased from 0.06 (x = 0) to 0.16 (x = 0.10) at 723 K, by a factor of 2.6. To explore the mechanisms behind the experimental results, we have performed an ab initio study on the Mn doping effect and find that the Fermi level of Cu2CdSnSe4 is shifted downward to the valence band, thus improving the hole concentration and enhancing the electrical conductivity at the low level doping content. Optimizing the synthesis process and scaling Cu2Cd1−xMnxSnSe4 to nanoparticles may further improve the ZT value significantly by improving the electrical conductivity and enhancing the phonon scattering to decrease the thermal conductivity. PMID:25047225

  9. Enhancement of thermopower of TAGS-85 high-performance thermoelectric materials by doping with the rare earth Dy

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, Evgenii; Budko, Serfuei; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus

    2012-04-10

    Enhancement of thermopower is achieved by doping the narrow-band semiconductor Ag{sub 6.52}Sb{sub 6.52}Ge{sub 36.96}Te{sub 50} (acronym TAGS-85), one of the best p-type thermoelectric materials, with 1 or 2% of the rare earth dysprosium (Dy). Evidence for the incorporation of Dy into the lattice is provided by X-ray diffraction and increased orientation-dependent local fields detected by {sup 125}Te NMR spectroscopy. Since Dy has a stable electronic configuration, the enhancement cannot be attributed to 4f-electron states formed near the Fermi level. It is likely that the enhancement is due to a small reduction in the carrier concentration, detected by {sup 125}Te NMR spectroscopy, but mostly due to energy filtering of the carriers by potential barriers formed in the lattice by Dy, which has large both atomic size and localized magnetic moment. The interplay between the thermopower, the electrical resistivity, and the thermal conductivity of TAGS-85 doped with Dy results in an enhancement of the power factor (PF) and the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) at 730 K, from PF = 28 μW cm{sup −1} K{sup −2} and ZT ≤ 1.3 in TAGS-85 to PF = 35 μW cm{sup −1} K{sup −2} and ZT ≥ 1.5 in TAGS-85 doped with 1 or 2% Dy for Ge. This makes TAGS-85 doped with Dy a promising material for thermoelectric power generation.

  10. The role of nanoscale defect features in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type nanostructured SiGe alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bathula, Sivaiah; Jayasimhadri, M.; Gahtori, Bhasker; Singh, Niraj Kumar; Tyagi, Kriti; Srivastava, A. K.; Dhar, Ajay

    2015-07-01

    Despite SiGe being one of the most widely studied thermoelectric materials owing to its application in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG), the thermoelectric figure-of merit (ZT) of p-type SiGe is still quite low, resulting in poor device efficiencies. In the present study, we report a substantial enhancement in ZT ~ 1.2 at 900 °C for p-type nanostructured Si80Ge20 alloys by creating several types of defect features within the Si80Ge20 nanostructured matrix in a spectrum of nano to meso-scale dimensions during its nanostructuring, by employing mechanical alloying followed by spark plasma sintering. This enhancement in ZT, which is ~25% over the existing state-of-the-art value for a p-type nanostructured Si80Ge20 alloy, is primarily due to its ultralow thermal conductivity of ~2.04 W m-1 K-1 at 900 °C, resulting from the scattering of low-to-high wavelength heat-carrying phonons by different types of defect features in a range of nano to meso-scale dimensions in the Si80Ge20 nanostructured matrix. These include point defects, dislocations, isolated amorphous regions, nano-scale grain boundaries and more importantly, the nano to meso-scale residual porosity distributed throughout the Si80Ge20 matrix. These nanoscale multi-dimensional defect features have been characterized by employing scanning and transmission electron microscopy and correlated with the electrical and thermal transport properties, based on which the enhancement of ZT has been discussed.Despite SiGe being one of the most widely studied thermoelectric materials owing to its application in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG), the thermoelectric figure-of merit (ZT) of p-type SiGe is still quite low, resulting in poor device efficiencies. In the present study, we report a substantial enhancement in ZT ~ 1.2 at 900 °C for p-type nanostructured Si80Ge20 alloys by creating several types of defect features within the Si80Ge20 nanostructured matrix in a spectrum of nano to meso

  11. The role of nanoscale defect features in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type nanostructured SiGe alloys.

    PubMed

    Bathula, Sivaiah; Jayasimhadri, M; Gahtori, Bhasker; Singh, Niraj Kumar; Tyagi, Kriti; Srivastava, A K; Dhar, Ajay

    2015-08-01

    Despite SiGe being one of the most widely studied thermoelectric materials owing to its application in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG), the thermoelectric figure-of merit (ZT) of p-type SiGe is still quite low, resulting in poor device efficiencies. In the present study, we report a substantial enhancement in ZT∼ 1.2 at 900 °C for p-type nanostructured Si80Ge20 alloys by creating several types of defect features within the Si80Ge20 nanostructured matrix in a spectrum of nano to meso-scale dimensions during its nanostructuring, by employing mechanical alloying followed by spark plasma sintering. This enhancement in ZT, which is ∼25% over the existing state-of-the-art value for a p-type nanostructured Si80Ge20 alloy, is primarily due to its ultralow thermal conductivity of ∼2.04 W m(-1) K(-1) at 900 °C, resulting from the scattering of low-to-high wavelength heat-carrying phonons by different types of defect features in a range of nano to meso-scale dimensions in the Si80Ge20 nanostructured matrix. These include point defects, dislocations, isolated amorphous regions, nano-scale grain boundaries and more importantly, the nano to meso-scale residual porosity distributed throughout the Si80Ge20 matrix. These nanoscale multi-dimensional defect features have been characterized by employing scanning and transmission electron microscopy and correlated with the electrical and thermal transport properties, based on which the enhancement of ZT has been discussed. PMID:26138852

  12. Optimizing the thermoelectric performance of zigzag and chiral carbon nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Using nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations and nonequilibrium Green's function method, we investigate the thermoelectric properties of a series of zigzag and chiral carbon nanotubes which exhibit interesting diameter and chirality dependence. Our calculated results indicate that these carbon nanotubes could have higher ZT values at appropriate carrier concentration and operating temperature. Moreover, their thermoelectric performance can be significantly enhanced via isotope substitution, isoelectronic impurities, and hydrogen adsorption. It is thus reasonable to expect that carbon nanotubes may be promising candidates for high-performance thermoelectric materials. PMID:22325623

  13. Molybdenum, Tungsten, and Aluminium Substitution for Enhancement of the Thermoelectric Performance of Higher Manganese Silicides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nhi Truong, D. Y.; Berthebaud, David; Gascoin, Franck; Kleinke, Holger

    2015-10-01

    An easy and efficient process involving ball milling under soft conditions and spark plasma sintering was used to synthesize higher manganese silicide (HMS)-based compounds, for example MnSi1.75Ge0.02, with different molybdenum, tungsten, and aluminium substitution. The x-ray diffraction patterns of the samples after sintering showed the main phase to be HMS with the presence of some side products. Molybdenum substitution enlarges the unit cells more than tungsten substitution, owing to its greater solubility in the HMS structure, whereas substitution with aluminium did not substantially alter the cell parameters. The electrical resistivity of HMS-based compounds was reduced by <10% by this substitution, because of increased carrier concentrations. Changes of the Seebeck coefficient were insignificant after molybdenum and aluminium substitution whereas tungsten substitution slightly reduced the thermopower of the base material by approximately 8% over the whole temperature range; this was ascribed to reduced carrier mobility as a result of enhanced scattering. Substitution with any combination of two of these elements resulted in no crucial modification of the electrical properties of the base material. Large decreases of lattice thermal conductivity were observed, because of enhanced phonon scattering, with the highest reduction up to 25% for molybdenum substitution; this resulted in a 20% decrease of total thermal conductivity, which contributed to improvement of the figure of merit ZT of the HMS-based materials. The maximum ZT value was approximately 0.40 for the material with 2 at.% molybdenum substitution at the Mn sites.

  14. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in Cd doped CuInTe{sub 2} compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, N.; Liu, R.; Bai, S.; Shi, X. Chen, L.

    2014-04-28

    CuIn{sub 1−x}Cd{sub x}Te{sub 2} materials (x = 0, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.1) are prepared using melting-annealing method and the highly densified bulk samples are obtained through Spark Plasma Sintering. The X-ray diffraction data confirm that nearly pure chalcopyrite structures are obtained in all the samples. Due to the substitution of Cd at In sites, the carrier concentration is greatly increased, leading to much enhanced electrical conductivity and power factor. The single parabolic band model is used to describe the electrical transport properties of CuInTe{sub 2} and the low temperature Hall mobility is also modeled. By combing theoretical model and experiment data, the optimum carrier concentration in CuInTe{sub 2} is proposed to explain the greatly enhanced power factors in the Cd doped CuInTe{sub 2}. In addition, the thermal conductivity is reduced by extra phonon scattering due to the atomic mass and radius fluctuations between Cd and In atoms. The maximum zTs are observed in CuIn{sub 0.98}Cd{sub 0.02}Te{sub 2} and CuIn{sub 0.9}Cd{sub 0.1}Te{sub 2} samples, which are improved by over 100% at room temperature and around 20% at 600 K.

  15. Preferential Scattering by Interfacial Charged Defects for Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Few-layered n-type Bi2Te3

    PubMed Central

    Puneet, Pooja; Podila, Ramakrishna; Karakaya, Mehmet; Zhu, Song; He, Jian; Tritt, Terry M.; Dresselhaus, Mildred S.; Rao, Apparao M.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades several nano-structuring methods have helped improve the figure of merit (ZT) in the state-of-the art bulk thermoelectric materials. While these methods could enhance the thermoelectric performance of p-type Bi2Te3, it was frustrating to researchers that they proved ineffective for n-type Bi2Te3 due to the inevitable deterioration of its thermoelectric properties in the basal plane. Here, we describe a novel chemical-exfoliation spark-plasma-sintering (CE-SPS) nano-structuring process, which transforms the microstructure of n-type Bi2Te3 in an extraordinary manner without compromising its basal plane properties. The CE-SPS processing leads to preferential scattering of electrons at charged grain boundaries, and thereby increases the electrical conductivity despite the presence of numerous grain boundaries, and mitigates the bipolar effect via band occupancy optimization leading to an upshift (by ~ 100 K) and stabilization of the ZT peak over a broad temperature range of ~ 150 K. PMID:24225424

  16. High performance thermoelectric nanocomposite device

    DOEpatents

    Yang, Jihui; Snyder, Dexter D.

    2011-10-25

    A thermoelectric device includes a nanocomposite material with nanowires of at least one thermoelectric material having a predetermined figure of merit, the nanowires being formed in a porous substrate having a low thermal conductivity and having an average pore diameter ranging from about 4 nm to about 300 nm.

  17. Enhanced thermoelectric properties in silicon nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitrovic, Slobodan; Yu, Jen-Kan; Boukai, Akram; Tahir-Kheli, Jamil; Goddard, William A., III; Heath, James R.

    2008-03-01

    Recently, we demonstrated that silicon nanowires can be designed and fabricated to achieve an approximately 100-fold enhancement in thermoelectric efficiency compared to bulk silicon. Independent measurements of thermoelectric power, and thermal and electrical conductivities suggest that this improvement is due to phonon effects rather than quantum confinement. Here, we present the study of the scaling laws (i.e. nanowire length/width dependence) for the phonon dynamics and transport. We investigate the influence of the phonon drag, carrier mobility and doping on the thermoelectric properties, and the universality of these findings. This work is supported by the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

  18. Enhanced thermoelectric properties of graphene oxide patterned by nanoroads.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Si; Guo, Yu; Zhao, Jijun

    2016-04-21

    The thermoelectric properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials are of great interest for both fundamental science and device applications. Graphene oxide (GO), whose physical properties are highly tailorable by chemical and structural modifications, is a potential 2D thermoelectric material. In this report, we pattern nanoroads on GO sheets with epoxide functionalization, and investigate their ballistic thermoelectric transport properties based on density functional theory and the nonequilibrium Green's function method. These graphene oxide nanoroads (GONRDs) are all semiconductors with their band gaps tunable by the road width, edge orientation, and the structure of the GO matrix. These nanostructures show appreciable electrical conductance at certain doping levels and enhanced thermopower of 127-287 μV K(-1), yielding a power factor 4-22 times of the graphene value; meanwhile, the lattice thermal conductance is remarkably reduced to 15-22% of the graphene value; consequently, attaining the figure of merit of 0.05-0.75. Our theoretical results are not only helpful for understanding the thermoelectric properties of graphene and its derivatives, but also would guide the theoretical design and experimental fabrication of graphene-based thermoelectric devices of high performance. PMID:27035740

  19. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of β-Zn4Sb3 based nanocomposites through combined effects of density of states resonance and carrier energy filtering

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Tianhua; Qin, Xiaoying; Zhang, Yongsheng; Li, Xiaoguang; Zeng, Zhi; Li, Di; Zhang, Jian; Xin, Hongxing; Xie, Wenjie; Weidenkaff, Anke

    2015-01-01

    It is a major challenge to elevate the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of materials through enhancing their power factor (PF) and reducing the thermal conductivity at the same time. Experience has shown that engineering of the electronic density of states (eDOS) and the energy filtering mechanism (EFM) are two different effective approaches to improve the PF. However, the successful combination of these two methods is elusive. Here we show that the PF of β-Zn4Sb3 can greatly benefit from both effects. Simultaneous resonant distortion in eDOS via Pb-doping and energy filtering via introduction of interface potentials result in a ~40% increase of PF and an approximately twofold reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity due to interface scattering. Accordingly, the ZT of β-Pb0.02Zn3.98Sb3 with 3 vol.% of Cu3SbSe4 nanoinclusions reaches a value of 1.4 at 648 K. The combination of eDOS engineering and EFM would potentially facilitate the development of high-performance thermoelectric materials. PMID:26666813

  20. Thermoelectric performance of granular semiconductors.

    SciTech Connect

    Glatz, A.; Beloborodov, I. S.; Materials Science Division; California State Univ.

    2009-01-01

    We study the effects of doping and confinement on the thermoelectric properties of nanocrystalline semiconductors. We calculate the thermopower and figure of merit for temperatures less than the charging energy. For weakly coupled semiconducting grains it is shown that the figure of merit is optimized for grain sizes of order 5 nm for typical materials, and that its value can be larger than one. Using the similarities between granular semiconductors and electron or Coulomb glasses allows for a quantitative description of inhomogeneous semiconducting thermoelectrics.

  1. Enhanced Thermoelectric Efficiency of Porous Silicene Nanoribbons

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a critical need to attain new sustainable materials for direct upgrade of waste heat to electrical energy via the thermoelectric effect. Here we demonstrate that the thermoelectric performance of silicene nanoribbons can be improved dramatically by introducing nanopores and tuning the Fermi energy. We predict that values of electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZTe up to 160 are achievable, provided the Fermi energy is located approximately 100 meV above the charge neutrality point. Including the effect of phonons yields a value for the full figure of merit of ZT = 3.5. Furthermore the sign of the thermopower S can be varied with achievable values as high as S = +/− 500 μV/K. As a method of tuning the Fermi energy, we analyse the effect of doping the silicene with either a strong electron donor (TTF) or a strong electron acceptor (TCNQ) and demonstrate that adsorbed layers of the former increases ZTe to a value of 3.1, which is insensitive to temperature over the range 100 K – 400 K. This combination of a high, temperature-insensitive ZTe, and the ability to choose the sign of the thermopower identifies nanoporous silicene as an ideal thermoelectric material with the potential for unprecedented performance. PMID:25820162

  2. Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency of porous silicene nanoribbons.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J

    2015-01-01

    There is a critical need to attain new sustainable materials for direct upgrade of waste heat to electrical energy via the thermoelectric effect. Here we demonstrate that the thermoelectric performance of silicene nanoribbons can be improved dramatically by introducing nanopores and tuning the Fermi energy. We predict that values of electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZTe up to 160 are achievable, provided the Fermi energy is located approximately 100 meV above the charge neutrality point. Including the effect of phonons yields a value for the full figure of merit of ZT = 3.5. Furthermore the sign of the thermopower S can be varied with achievable values as high as S = +/- 500 μV/K. As a method of tuning the Fermi energy, we analyse the effect of doping the silicene with either a strong electron donor (TTF) or a strong electron acceptor (TCNQ) and demonstrate that adsorbed layers of the former increases ZTe to a value of 3.1, which is insensitive to temperature over the range 100 K - 400 K. This combination of a high, temperature-insensitive ZTe, and the ability to choose the sign of the thermopower identifies nanoporous silicene as an ideal thermoelectric material with the potential for unprecedented performance. PMID:25820162

  3. Enhanced Thermoelectric Efficiency of Porous Silicene Nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J.

    2015-03-01

    There is a critical need to attain new sustainable materials for direct upgrade of waste heat to electrical energy via the thermoelectric effect. Here we demonstrate that the thermoelectric performance of silicene nanoribbons can be improved dramatically by introducing nanopores and tuning the Fermi energy. We predict that values of electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZTe up to 160 are achievable, provided the Fermi energy is located approximately 100 meV above the charge neutrality point. Including the effect of phonons yields a value for the full figure of merit of ZT = 3.5. Furthermore the sign of the thermopower S can be varied with achievable values as high as S = +/- 500 μV/K. As a method of tuning the Fermi energy, we analyse the effect of doping the silicene with either a strong electron donor (TTF) or a strong electron acceptor (TCNQ) and demonstrate that adsorbed layers of the former increases ZTe to a value of 3.1, which is insensitive to temperature over the range 100 K - 400 K. This combination of a high, temperature-insensitive ZTe, and the ability to choose the sign of the thermopower identifies nanoporous silicene as an ideal thermoelectric material with the potential for unprecedented performance.

  4. Mechanically-exfoliated stacks of thin films of Bi2Te3 topological insulators with enhanced thermoelectric performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goyal, V.; Teweldebrhan, D.; Balandin, A. A.

    2010-09-01

    The authors report on "graphene-like" mechanical exfoliation of single-crystal Bi2Te3 films and thermoelectric characterization of the stacks of such films. Thermal conductivity of the resulting "pseudosuperlattices" was measured by the "hot disk" and "laser flash" techniques. The room temperature in-plane (cross-plane) thermal conductivity of the stacks decreases by a factor of ˜2.4 (3.5) as compared to bulk. The thermal conductivity reduction with preserved electrical properties leads to strong increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit. It is suggested that the film thinning to few-quintuples and tuning of the Fermi level can help in achieving the topological-insulator surface transport regime with an extraordinary thermoelectric efficiency.

  5. Decoupling interrelated parameters for designing high performance thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Chong; Li, Zhou; Li, Kun; Huang, Pengcheng; Xie, Yi

    2014-04-15

    synergistically enhanced thermoelectric properties. This occurs through a significant reduction of thermal conductivity, without the deterioration of thermopower and electrical conductivity. In addition, we introduce the concept of spin entropy in wide band gap semiconductor nanocrystals, which acts to fully disentangle the otherwise interconnected quantities for synergistically optimized thermoelectric performance. Finally, we discuss a new concept we developed that is based on an ultrathin-nanosheet composite that we fabricated from ultrathin nanosheets of atomic thickness. These retain the original strong two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) and allow for decoupled optimization of the three thermoelectric parameters, which improves thermoelectric performance. PMID:24517646

  6. Enhanced thermoelectric performance driven by high-temperature phase transition in the phase change material Ge4SbTe5

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Williams, Jared B.; Lara-Curzio, Edgar; Cakmak, Ercan; Watkins, Thomas R.; Morelli, Donald T.

    2015-05-15

    Phase change materials are identified for their ability to rapidly alternate between amorphous and crystalline phases and have large contrast in the optical/electrical properties of the respective phases. The materials are primarily used in memory storage applications, but recently they have also been identified as potential thermoelectric materials. Many of the phase change materials researched today can be found on the pseudo-binary (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3)x tie-line. While many compounds on this tie-line have been recognized as thermoelectric materials, here we focus on Ge4SbTe5, a single phase compound just off of the (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3)x tie-line, that forms in a stable rocksalt crystal structure atmore » room temperature. We find that stoichiometric and undoped Ge4SbTe5 exhibits a thermal conductivity of ~1.2 W/m-K at high temperature and a large Seebeck coefficient of ~250 μV/K. The resistivity decreases dramatically at 623 K due to a structural phase transition which lends to a large enhancement in both thermoelectric power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit at 823 K. In a more general sense the research presents evidence that phase change materials can potentially provide a new route to highly efficient thermoelectric materials for power generation at high temperature.« less

  7. Heavily Doped PBSE with High Thermoelectric Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Wang, Heng (Inventor); Pei, Yanzhong (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    The present invention discloses heavily doped PbSe with high thermoelectric performance. Thermoelectric property measurements disclosed herein indicated that PbSe is high zT material for mid-to-high temperature thermoelectric applications. At 850 K a peak zT (is) greater than 1.3 was observed when n(sub H) approximately 1.0 X 10(exp 20) cm(exp -3). The present invention also discloses that a number of strategies used to improve zT of PbTe, such as alloying with other elements, nanostructuring and band modification may also be used to further improve zT in PbSe.

  8. Performance testing of thermoelectric generators at JPL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouklove, P.; Truscello, V.

    1974-01-01

    Results of life tests of thermoelectric generators ranging in output power from 800 microwatts to 170 watts. Emphasis is placed on the results obtained from tests of three advanced prototypes - a high-performance generator, a transit-type generator, and a ring converter. In addition, the results of life tests of a number of generators representing Nimbus, Pioneer, and Viking technology are presented.

  9. WSe2 nanoribbons: new high-performance thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kai-Xuan; Luo, Zhi-Yong; Mo, Dong-Chuan; Lyu, Shu-Shen

    2016-06-28

    In this work, for the first time, we systematically investigate the ballistic transport properties of WSe2 nanoribbons using first-principles methods. Armchair nanoribbons with narrow ribbon width are mostly semiconductive but the zigzag nanoribbons are metallic. Surprisingly, an enhancement in thermoelectric performance is discovered moving from monolayers to nanoribbons, especially armchair ones. The maximum room-temperature thermoelectric figure of merit of 2.2 for an armchair nanoribbon is discovered. This may be contributed to by the effects of the disordered edges, owing to the existence of dangling bonds at the ribbon edge. H-passivation has turned out to be an effective way to stabilize the edge atoms, which enhances the thermodynamic stability of the nanoribbons. In addition, after H-passivation, all of the armchair nanoribbons exhibit semiconductive properties with similar band gaps (∼1.3 eV). Our work provides instructional theoretical evidence for the application of armchair WSe2 nanoribbons as promising thermoelectric materials. The enhancement mechanism of the disordered edge effect can also encourage further exploration to achieve outstanding thermoelectric materials. PMID:27254307

  10. Engineering Band Structure via the Site Preference of Pb(2+) in the In(+) Site for Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of In6Se7.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jiaolin; Cheng, Min; Wu, Wenchang; Du, Zhengliang; Chao, Yimin

    2016-09-01

    Although binary In-Se based alloys have in recent years gained interest as thermoelectric (TE) candidates, little attention has been paid to In6Se7-based compounds. Substituting Pb in In6Se7, preference for Pb(2+) in the In(+) site has been observed, allowing Fermi level (Fr) shift toward the conduction band, where the localized state conduction becomes dominant. Consequently, the Hall carrier concentration (nH) has been significantly enhanced with the highest nH value being about 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than that of the Pb-free sample. Meanwhile, the lattice thermal conductivity (κL) tends to be reduced as the nH value increases, owing to an increased phonon scattering on carriers. As a result, a significantly enhanced TE performance has been achieved with the highest TE figure of merit (ZT) of 0.4 at ∼850 K. This ZT value is 27 times that of intrinsic In6Se7 (ZT = 0.015 at 640 K), which proves a successful band structure engineering through site preference of Pb in In6Se7. PMID:27541319

  11. Enhanced thermoelectric performance driven by high-temperature phase transition in the phase change material Ge4SbTe5

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Jared B.; Lara-Curzio, Edgar; Cakmak, Ercan; Watkins, Thomas R.; Morelli, Donald T.

    2015-05-15

    Phase change materials are identified for their ability to rapidly alternate between amorphous and crystalline phases and have large contrast in the optical/electrical properties of the respective phases. The materials are primarily used in memory storage applications, but recently they have also been identified as potential thermoelectric materials. Many of the phase change materials researched today can be found on the pseudo-binary (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3)x tie-line. While many compounds on this tie-line have been recognized as thermoelectric materials, here we focus on Ge4SbTe5, a single phase compound just off of the (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3)x tie-line, that forms in a stable rocksalt crystal structure at room temperature. We find that stoichiometric and undoped Ge4SbTe5 exhibits a thermal conductivity of ~1.2 W/m-K at high temperature and a large Seebeck coefficient of ~250 μV/K. The resistivity decreases dramatically at 623 K due to a structural phase transition which lends to a large enhancement in both thermoelectric power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit at 823 K. In a more general sense the research presents evidence that phase change materials can potentially provide a new route to highly efficient thermoelectric materials for power generation at high temperature.

  12. Performance evaluation of an automotive thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubitsky, Andrei O.

    Around 40% of the total fuel energy in typical internal combustion engines (ICEs) is rejected to the environment in the form of exhaust gas waste heat. Efficient recovery of this waste heat in automobiles can promise a fuel economy improvement of 5%. The thermal energy can be harvested through thermoelectric generators (TEGs) utilizing the Seebeck effect. In the present work, a versatile test bench has been designed and built in order to simulate conditions found on test vehicles. This allows experimental performance evaluation and model validation of automotive thermoelectric generators. An electrically heated exhaust gas circuit and a circulator based coolant loop enable integrated system testing of hot and cold side heat exchangers, thermoelectric modules (TEMs), and thermal interface materials at various scales. A transient thermal model of the coolant loop was created in order to design a system which can maintain constant coolant temperature under variable heat input. Additionally, as electrical heaters cannot match the transient response of an ICE, modelling was completed in order to design a relaxed exhaust flow and temperature history utilizing the system thermal lag. This profile reduced required heating power and gas flow rates by over 50%. The test bench was used to evaluate a DOE/GM initial prototype automotive TEG and validate analytical performance models. The maximum electrical power generation was found to be 54 W with a thermal conversion efficiency of 1.8%. It has been found that thermal interface management is critical for achieving maximum system performance, with novel designs being considered for further improvement.

  13. A high performance thin film thermoelectric cooler

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, D.M.; Min, G.; Volklein, F.

    1998-07-01

    Thin film thermoelectric devices with small dimensions have been fabricated using microelectronics technology and operated successfully in the Seebeck mode as sensors or generators. However, they do not operate successfully in the Peltier mode as coolers, because of the thermal bypass provided by the relatively thick substrate upon which the thermoelectric device is fabricated. In this paper a processing sequence is described which dramatically reduces this thermal bypass and facilitates the fabrication of high performance integrated thin film thermoelectric coolers. In the processing sequence a very thin amorphous SiC (or SiO{sub 2}SiN{sub 4}) film is deposited on a silicon substrate using conventional thin film deposition and a membrane formed by removing the silicon substrate over a desired region using chemical etching or micro-machining. Thermoelements are deposited on the membrane using conventional thin film deposition and patterning techniques and configured so that the region which is to be cooled is abutted to the cold junctions of the Peltier thermoelements while the hot junctions are located at the outer peripheral area which rests on the silicon substrate rim. Heat is pumped laterally from the cooled region to the silicon substrate rim and then dissipated vertically through it to an external heat sink. Theoretical calculations of the performance of a cooler described above indicate that a maximum temperature difference of about 40--50K can be achieved with a maximum heat pumping capacity of around 10 milliwatts.

  14. Effect of different surfactants and thicknesses on electrodeposited films of bismuth telluride and its thermoelectric performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulsi, Chiranjit; Mitra, Mousumi; Kargupta, Kajari; Ganguly, Saibal; Banerjee, Dipali; Goswami, Shyamaprosad

    2015-10-01

    Thin films of bismuth telluride using various surfactants such as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) have been electrochemically deposited. The influence of different surfactants on crystal orientation and morphology was investigated and correlated with the thermoelectric performance of the electrodeposited films. Since thickness affects the thermoelectric performance compared to the surfactant, thickness- dependent thermoelectric performance has also been investigated. The carrier mobilities of the films obtained are significantly enhanced due to improved surface morphology using different surfactants. Between the two surfactants, films with SDS exhibited the higher value of thermoelectric power, power factor, and figure of merit, which is due to the effect of micelle formation. The XRD pattern of all the films, which are electrodeposited without surfactant or using SDS and PVP, showed preferred crystal orientation along the (018) direction. The roles of organic molecules in the development of nanoparticles with improved thermoelectric properties have been investigated.

  15. Enhancing the thermoelectric performance and bridging the p- and n-type carrier asymmetry of Bi2Te3 thin films via topological surface states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Huijun; Zhang, Zhenyu

    2015-03-01

    It has been recognized that some of the best thermoelectric materials are also topological insulators (TIs), yet whether these two classes of materials are inherently connected remains mysterious and conceptually perplexing. Here we combine first-principles calculations and Boltzmann theory to study the thermoelectric properties of Bi2Te3 thin films in the few quintuple layer regime, and demonstrate how the ZT values of such strong three-dimensional TIs can be tuned by both the film thickness and relaxation time of the topological surface states relative to the bulk states. We first show that when the surface and bulk states have comparable relaxation times, such films could actually have higher ZT values in the non-TI regime than those in the TI regime. Nevertheless, the very existence and robustness of the topological surface states in the TI regime offers unique new design strategies to not only significantly enhance their ZT values, but also potentially bridge the long-standing challenge of p- and n-type carrier asymmetry faced by the broad thermoelectric research and industrial communities. We acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 51172167 and 1134006), and MOST of China (Grant Nos. 2013CB632502 and 2014CB921103).

  16. Boundary Engineering for the Thermoelectric Performance of Bulk Alloys Based on Bismuth Telluride.

    PubMed

    Mun, Hyeona; Choi, Soon-Mok; Lee, Kyu Hyoung; Kim, Sung Wng

    2015-07-20

    Thermoelectrics, which transports heat for refrigeration or converts heat into electricity directly, is a key technology for renewable energy harvesting and solid-state refrigeration. Despite its importance, the widespread use of thermoelectric devices is constrained because of the low efficiency of thermoelectric bulk alloys. However, boundary engineering has been demonstrated as one of the most effective ways to enhance the thermoelectric performance of conventional thermoelectric materials such as Bi2 Te3 , PbTe, and SiGe alloys because their thermal and electronic transport properties can be manipulated separately by this approach. We review our recent progress on the enhancement of the thermoelectric figure of merit through boundary engineering together with the processing technologies for boundary engineering developed most recently using Bi2 Te3 -based bulk alloys. A brief discussion of the principles and current status of boundary-engineered bulk alloys for the enhancement of the thermoelectric figure of merit is presented. We focus mainly on (1) the reduction of the thermal conductivity by grain boundary engineering and (2) the reduction of thermal conductivity without deterioration of the electrical conductivity by phase boundary engineering. We also discuss the next potential approach using two boundary engineering strategies for a breakthrough in the area of bulk thermoelectric alloys. PMID:25782971

  17. High performance p-type thermoelectric materials and methods of preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alexander (Inventor); Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor)

    2005-01-01

    The present invention is embodied in high performance p-type thermoelectric materials having enhanced thermoelectric properties and the methods of preparing such materials. In one aspect of the invention, p-type semiconductors of formula Zn4-xAxSb3-yBy wherein 0?x?4, A is a transition metal, B is a pnicogen, and 0?y?3 are formed for use in manufacturing thermoelectric devices with substantially enhanced operating characteristics and improved efficiency. Two methods of preparing p-type Zn4Sb3 and related alloys of the present invention include a crystal growth method and a powder metallurgy method.

  18. Multilayer thermoelectric films: A strategy for the enhancement of ZT

    SciTech Connect

    Wadgner, A.V.; Foreman, R.J.; Summers, L.J.; Barbee, T.W. Jr.; Farmer, J.C.

    1995-03-01

    The relative efficiency of a thermoelectric material is measured in terms of a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT. Although all known thermoelectric materials are believed to have ZT {le} 1, recent theoretical results predict that thermoelectric devices fabricated as two-dimensional quantum wells (2D QWs) could have ZT {ge} 3. Multilayers with the dimensions of 2D QWs have been synthesized by alternately sputtering Bi{sub 0.9}Sb{sub 0.1} and PbTe{sub 0.8}Se{sub 0.2} onto a moving substrate from a pair of magnetron sources. These materials have been synthesized to test the thermoelectric quantum-well concept and gain insight into relevant transport mechanisms. This work focuses primarily on the scientific issues involved in producing the materials necessary to examine the possibility of enhancing ZT using quantum confinement. The techniques needed to measure the relevant electrical parameters of thermoelectric thin films are developed in this paper. Ultimately, if a quantum well enhancement of thermoelectrics is experimentally observed, devices based on this technology could be used to greatly expand the role of thermoelectrics in power generation and refrigeration.

  19. Tailored semiconducting carbon nanotube networks with enhanced thermoelectric properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avery, Azure D.; Zhou, Ben H.; Lee, Jounghee; Lee, Eui-Sup; Miller, Elisa M.; Ihly, Rachelle; Wesenberg, Devin; Mistry, Kevin S.; Guillot, Sarah L.; Zink, Barry L.; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Blackburn, Jeffrey L.; Ferguson, Andrew J.

    2016-04-01

    Thermoelectric power generation, allowing recovery of part of the energy wasted as heat, is emerging as an important component of renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios. Although inorganic semiconductors have traditionally been employed in thermoelectric applications, organic semiconductors garner increasing attention as versatile thermoelectric materials. Here we present a combined theoretical and experimental study suggesting that semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes with carefully controlled chirality distribution and carrier density are capable of large thermoelectric power factors, higher than 340 μW m‑1 K‑2, comparable to the best-performing conducting polymers and larger than previously observed for carbon nanotube films. Furthermore, we demonstrate that phonons are the dominant source of thermal conductivity in the networks, and that our carrier doping process significantly reduces the thermal conductivity relative to undoped networks. These findings provide the scientific underpinning for improved functional organic thermoelectric composites with carbon nanotube inclusions.

  20. Tailored semiconducting carbon nanotube networks with enhanced thermoelectric properties

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Avery, Azure D.; Zhou, Ben H.; Lee, Jounghee; Lee, Eui -Sup; Miller, Elisa M.; Ihly, Rachelle; Wesenberg, Devin; Mistry, Kevin S.; Guillot, Sarah L.; Zink, Barry L.; et al

    2016-04-04

    Thermoelectric power generation, allowing recovery of part of the energy wasted as heat, is emerging as an important component of renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios. Although inorganic semiconductors have traditionally been employed in thermoelectric applications, organic semiconductors garner increasing attention as versatile thermoelectric materials. Here we present a combined theoretical and experimental study suggesting that semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes with carefully controlled chirality distribution and carrier density are capable of large thermoelectric power factors, higher than 340 μW m-1 K-2, comparable to the best-performing conducting polymers and larger than previously observed for carbon nanotube films. Furthermore, we demonstrate thatmore » phonons are the dominant source of thermal conductivity in the networks, and that our carrier doping process significantly reduces the thermal conductivity relative to undoped networks. As a result, these findings provide the scientific underpinning for improved functional organic thermoelectric composites with carbon nanotube inclusions.« less

  1. Enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit in engineered graphene nanoribbons

    PubMed Central

    Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J

    2015-01-01

    Summary We demonstrate that thermoelectric properties of graphene nanoribbons can be dramatically improved by introducing nanopores. In monolayer graphene, this increases the electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZT e from 0.01 to 0.5. The largest values of ZT e are found when a nanopore is introduced into bilayer graphene, such that the current flows from one layer to the other via the inner surface of the pore, for which values as high as ZT e = 2.45 are obtained. All thermoelectric properties can be further enhanced by tuning the Fermi energy of the leads. PMID:26171293

  2. Enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit in engineered graphene nanoribbons.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J

    2015-01-01

    We demonstrate that thermoelectric properties of graphene nanoribbons can be dramatically improved by introducing nanopores. In monolayer graphene, this increases the electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZT e from 0.01 to 0.5. The largest values of ZT e are found when a nanopore is introduced into bilayer graphene, such that the current flows from one layer to the other via the inner surface of the pore, for which values as high as ZT e = 2.45 are obtained. All thermoelectric properties can be further enhanced by tuning the Fermi energy of the leads. PMID:26171293

  3. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of Cu2Se/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 nanocomposites at elevated temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y. Y.; Qin, X. Y.; Li, D.; Zhang, J.; Li, C.; Liu, Y. F.; Song, C. J.; Xin, H. X.; Guo, H. F.

    2016-02-01

    Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric materials with large thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, at elevated temperatures are advantageous in power generation by using the low-grade waste heat. Here, we show that incorporation of small proportion (0.3 vol. %) of nanophase Cu2Se into BiSbTe matrix causes an enhanced high-temperature thermopower due to elevated energy filtering of carriers and inhibition of minority transport besides enhanced phonon blocking from scattering at interfaces, which concurrently result in an ˜20% increase in the power factor and an ˜60% reduction in the lattice thermal conductivity at 488 K. As a result, ZT = 1.6 is achieved at 488 K in the composite system with 0.3 vol. % of Cu2Se. Significantly, its ZT is larger than unit in broad high-temperature range (e.g., ZT = 1.3 at 400 K and ZT = 1.6 at 488 K), which makes this material to be attractive for applications in energy harvesting from the low-grade waste heat.

  4. Designing high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through orbital engineering

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiawei; Song, Lirong; Madsen, Georg K. H.; Fischer, Karl F. F.; Zhang, Wenqing; Shi, Xun; Iversen, Bo B.

    2016-01-01

    Thermoelectric technology, which possesses potential application in recycling industrial waste heat as energy, calls for novel high-performance materials. The systematic exploration of novel thermoelectric materials with excellent electronic transport properties is severely hindered by limited insight into the underlying bonding orbitals of atomic structures. Here we propose a simple yet successful strategy to discover and design high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through minimizing the crystal field splitting energy of orbitals to realize high orbital degeneracy. The approach naturally leads to design maps for optimizing the thermoelectric power factor through forming solid solutions and biaxial strain. Using this approach, we predict a series of potential thermoelectric candidates from layered CaAl2Si2-type Zintl compounds. Several of them contain nontoxic, low-cost and earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the approach can be extended to several other non-cubic materials, thereby substantially accelerating the screening and design of new thermoelectric materials. PMID:26948043

  5. Designing high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through orbital engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiawei; Song, Lirong; Madsen, Georg K H; Fischer, Karl F F; Zhang, Wenqing; Shi, Xun; Iversen, Bo B

    2016-01-01

    Thermoelectric technology, which possesses potential application in recycling industrial waste heat as energy, calls for novel high-performance materials. The systematic exploration of novel thermoelectric materials with excellent electronic transport properties is severely hindered by limited insight into the underlying bonding orbitals of atomic structures. Here we propose a simple yet successful strategy to discover and design high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through minimizing the crystal field splitting energy of orbitals to realize high orbital degeneracy. The approach naturally leads to design maps for optimizing the thermoelectric power factor through forming solid solutions and biaxial strain. Using this approach, we predict a series of potential thermoelectric candidates from layered CaAl2Si2-type Zintl compounds. Several of them contain nontoxic, low-cost and earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the approach can be extended to several other non-cubic materials, thereby substantially accelerating the screening and design of new thermoelectric materials. PMID:26948043

  6. Designing high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through orbital engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiawei; Song, Lirong; Madsen, Georg K. H.; Fischer, Karl F. F.; Zhang, Wenqing; Shi, Xun; Iversen, Bo B.

    2016-03-01

    Thermoelectric technology, which possesses potential application in recycling industrial waste heat as energy, calls for novel high-performance materials. The systematic exploration of novel thermoelectric materials with excellent electronic transport properties is severely hindered by limited insight into the underlying bonding orbitals of atomic structures. Here we propose a simple yet successful strategy to discover and design high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through minimizing the crystal field splitting energy of orbitals to realize high orbital degeneracy. The approach naturally leads to design maps for optimizing the thermoelectric power factor through forming solid solutions and biaxial strain. Using this approach, we predict a series of potential thermoelectric candidates from layered CaAl2Si2-type Zintl compounds. Several of them contain nontoxic, low-cost and earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the approach can be extended to several other non-cubic materials, thereby substantially accelerating the screening and design of new thermoelectric materials.

  7. Wearable and flexible thermoelectric generator with enhanced package

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francioso, L.; De Pascali, C.; Taurino, A.; Siciliano, P.; De Risi, A.

    2013-05-01

    Present work shows recent progresses in thin film-based flexible and wearable thermoelectric generator (TEG), finalized to support energy scavenging and local storage for low consumption electronics in Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications and buildings integration. The proposed TEG is able to recover energy from heat dispersed into the environment converting a thermal gradient to an effective electrical energy available to power ultra-low consumption devices. A low cost fabrication process based on planar thin-film technology was optimized to scale down the TEG dimensions to micrometer range. The prototype integrates 2778 thermocouples of sputtered Sb2Te3 and Bi2Te3 thin films (1 μm thick) on an area of 25 cm2. The electrical properties of thermoelectric materials were investigated by Van der Pauw measurements. Transfer Length Method (TLM) analysis was performed on three different multi-layer contact schemes in order to select the best solution to use for the definition of the contact pads realized on each section of the thermoelectric array configuration to allow electrical testing of single production areas. Kapton polyimide film was used as flexible substrate in order to add comfortable lightweight and better wearability to the device. The realized TEG is able to autonomously recover the thermal gradient useful to thermoelectric generation thanks to an appropriate package designed and optimized by a thermal analysis based on finite element method (FEM). The proposed package solution consists in coupling the module realized onto Kapton foil to a PDMS layer opportunely molded to thermally insulate TEG cold junctions and enhance the thermal gradient useful for the energy scavenging. Simulations results were compared to experimental tests performed by a thermal infrared camera, in order to evaluate the real performance of the designed package. First tests conducted on the realized TEG indicate that the prototype is able to recover about 5°C between hot and

  8. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in zinc substituted p-type filled skutterudites CeFe{sub 4-x}Zn{sub x}Sb{sub 12}

    SciTech Connect

    Tan Gangjian; Wang Shanyu; Li Han; Yan Yonggao; Tang Xinfeng

    2012-03-15

    In this study, Zn-substituted polycrystalline skutterudites CeFe{sub 4-x}Zn{sub x}Sb{sub 12} (x=0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) were successfully prepared by a traditional melting-annealing method. The solubility of Zn in Fe site is {approx}1.2%, exceeding which trace amount of ZnSb phase can be detected in the XRD. This ZnSb impurity phase, with size of several hundred nanometers for the sample with x=0.2 but showing surprisingly small size of {approx}10 nm for the sample with x=0.3, selectively distributes on the grain boundaries. In particular, the introduction of Zn in Fe site effectively improves the Seebeck coefficient in a manner of enhancement in hole effective mass, but it has negligible influence on both electrical and thermal conductivities though the hole concentration is increased. Consequently the corresponding improvement in power factor leads to an improved thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of 0.9 at 800 K for the sample with x=0.1, which is {approx}15% higher than that of Zn-free sample. This study demonstrates a favorable effect of Zn iso-substitution and opens a new strategy to improve the thermoelectric properties of p-type Fe-based skutterudites beyond the sole phonon engineering. - Graphical abstract: (a)-(c) ZnSb nanoinclusions emerge when Zn exceeds its solubility limit. (d), (e) The introduction of Zn boosts the Seebeck coefficient and thus enhances the ZT value. Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Zn is successfully employed to substitute Fe atom for the first time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ZnSb nanoinclusions emerge when Zn exceeds its solubility limit {approx}0.12. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The introduction of Zn boosts the Seebeck coefficient and enhances the ZT value.

  9. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in c-axis oriented Ca3Co4O9 films by Ag addition through multiple annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shengman; Zhu, Caixia; Ge, Xianghong; Wang, Tingtai; Feng, Junlan; Yang, Linfeng

    2016-06-01

    The c-axis oriented Ca3Co4O9 (CCO) films without and with 5 wt.% Ag addition were prepared by chemical solution deposition (CSD) through multiple annealing processing on single crystal LaAlO3 (001) substrates. With Ag addition, the resistivity at 300 K is decreased to 2.25 mΩṡcm, the Seebeck coefficient at 300 K is enhanced to 106 μV/K and the power factor at 300 K can reach as high as 0.5 mWṡK‑1ṡm‑2, which is the highest value among CCO films prepared by CSD. The results suggest that Ag addition is a very effective route to improve the thermoelectric properties of CCO films through multiple annealing processing.

  10. Tellurium as a high-performance elemental thermoelectric

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Siqi; Li, Wen; Chen, Zhiwei; Shen, Jiawen; Ge, Binghui; Pei, Yanzhong

    2016-01-01

    High-efficiency thermoelectric materials require a high conductivity. It is known that a large number of degenerate band valleys offers many conducting channels for improving the conductivity without detrimental effects on the other properties explicitly, and therefore, increases thermoelectric performance. In addition to the strategy of converging different bands, many semiconductors provide an inherent band nestification, equally enabling a large number of effective band valley degeneracy. Here we show as an example that a simple elemental semiconductor, tellurium, exhibits a high thermoelectric figure of merit of unity, not only demonstrating the concept but also filling up the high performance gap from 300 to 700 K for elemental thermoelectrics. The concept used here should be applicable in general for thermoelectrics with similar band features. PMID:26751919

  11. Enhancement of automotive exhaust heat recovery by thermoelectric devices

    SciTech Connect

    Ibrahim, Essam; Szybist, James P; Parks, II, James E

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to improve automobile fuel economy, an experimental study is undertaken to explore practical aspects of implementing thermoelectric devices for exhaust gas energy recovery. A highly instrumented apparatus consisting of a hot (exhaust gas) and a cold (coolant liquid) side rectangular ducts enclosing the thermoelectric elements has been built. Measurements of thermoelectric voltage output and flow and surface temperatures were acquired and analyzed to investigate the power generation and heat transfer properties of the apparatus. Effects of inserting aluminum wool packing material inside the hot side duct on augmentation of heat transfer from the gas stream to duct walls were studied. Data were collected for both the unpacked and packed cases to allow for detection of packing influence on flow and surface temperatures. Effects of gas and coolant inlet temperatures as well as gas flow rate on the thermoelectric power output were examined. The results indicate that thermoelectric power production is increased at higher gas inlet temperature or flow rate. However, thermoelectric power generation decreases with a higher coolant temperature as a consequence of the reduced hot-cold side temperature differential. For the hot-side duct, a large temperature gradient exists between the gas and solid surface temperature due to poor heat transfer through the gaseous medium. Adding the packing material inside the exhaust duct enhanced heat transfer and hence raised hot-side duct surface temperatures and thermoelectric power compared to the unpacked duct, particularly where the gas-to-surface temperature differential is highest. Therefore it is recommended that packing of exhaust duct becomes common practice in thermoelectric waste energy harvesting applications.

  12. Interference enhanced thermoelectricity in quinoid type structures

    SciTech Connect

    Strange, M. Solomon, G. C.; Seldenthuis, J. S.; Verzijl, C. J. O.; Thijssen, J. M.

    2015-02-28

    Quantum interference (QI) effects in molecular junctions may be used to obtain large thermoelectric responses. We study the electrical conductance G and the thermoelectric response of a series of molecules featuring a quinoid core using density functional theory, as well as a semi-empirical interacting model Hamiltonian describing the π-system of the molecule which we treat in the GW approximation. Molecules with a quinoid type structure are shown to have two distinct destructive QI features close to the frontier orbital energies. These manifest themselves as two dips in the transmission, that remain separated, even when either electron donating or withdrawing side groups are added. We find that the position of the dips in the transmission and the frontier molecular levels can be chemically controlled by varying the electron donating or withdrawing character of the side groups as well as the conjugation length inside the molecule. This feature results in a very high thermoelectric power factor S{sup 2}G and figure of merit ZT, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, making quinoid type molecules potential candidates for efficient thermoelectric devices.

  13. Interference enhanced thermoelectricity in quinoid type structures.

    PubMed

    Strange, M; Seldenthuis, J S; Verzijl, C J O; Thijssen, J M; Solomon, G C

    2015-02-28

    Quantum interference (QI) effects in molecular junctions may be used to obtain large thermoelectric responses. We study the electrical conductance G and the thermoelectric response of a series of molecules featuring a quinoid core using density functional theory, as well as a semi-empirical interacting model Hamiltonian describing the π-system of the molecule which we treat in the GW approximation. Molecules with a quinoid type structure are shown to have two distinct destructive QI features close to the frontier orbital energies. These manifest themselves as two dips in the transmission, that remain separated, even when either electron donating or withdrawing side groups are added. We find that the position of the dips in the transmission and the frontier molecular levels can be chemically controlled by varying the electron donating or withdrawing character of the side groups as well as the conjugation length inside the molecule. This feature results in a very high thermoelectric power factor S(2)G and figure of merit ZT, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, making quinoid type molecules potential candidates for efficient thermoelectric devices. PMID:25725747

  14. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

    Yang, Peidong; Majumdar, Arunava; Hochbaum, Allon I.; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz

    2015-12-22

    The invention provides for a nanostructure, or an array of such nanostructures, each comprising a rough surface, and a doped or undoped semiconductor. The nanostructure is an one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructure, such a nanowire, or a two-dimensional (2-D) nanostructure. The nanostructure can be placed between two electrodes and used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.

  15. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

    Yang, Peidong; Majumdar, Arunava; Hochbaum, Allon I; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz

    2014-05-20

    The invention provides for a nanostructure, or an array of such nanostructures, each comprising a rough surface, and a doped or undoped semiconductor. The nanostructure is an one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructure, such a nanowire, or a two-dimensional (2-D) nanostructure. The nanostructure can be placed between two electrodes and used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.

  16. Thermoelectric performance of classical topological insulator nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gooth, Johannes; Göran Gluschke, Jan; Zierold, Robert; Leijnse, Martin; Linke, Heiner; Nielsch, Kornelius

    2015-01-01

    There is currently substantial effort being invested into creating efficient thermoelectric (TE) nanowires based on topological insulator (TI) chalcogenide-type materials. A key premise of these efforts is the assumption that the generally good TE properties that these materials exhibit in bulk form will translate into similarly good or even better TE performance of the same materials in nanowire form. Here, we calculate TE performance of TI nanowires based on Bi2Te3, Sb2Te3 and Bi2Se3 as a function of diameter and Fermi level. We show that the TE performance of TI nanowires does not derive from the properties of the bulk material in a straightforward way. For all investigated systems the competition between surface states and bulk channel causes a significant modification of the TE transport coefficients if the diameter is reduced into the sub 10 μm range. Key aspects are that the surface and bulk states are optimized at different Fermi levels or have different polarity as well as the high surface to volume ratio of the nanowires. This limits the maximum TE performance of TI nanowires and thus their application in efficient TE devices.

  17. The thermal properties and thermoelectric performance of γ-graphyne nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhi; Ji, Yu-Long; Lan, Guoqiang; Xu, Li-Chun; Wang, Hua; Liu, Xuguang; Xu, Bingshe

    2016-04-01

    The thermal properties and thermoelectric performance of one-dimensional armchair and zigzag γ-graphyne nanoribbons (γ-GYNRs) are theoretically investigated in the present study. We found that the pristine γ-GYNRs hold lower phononic thermal conductance and better figure of merit (ZT) than graphene nanorribons. The maximal ZT values for the armchair and zigzag γ-GYNRs are 0.93 and 0.61, respectively. By introducing 14C atoms, the thermoelectric conversion efficiencies of γ-GYNRs are greatly enhanced, thus the isotope effect can significantly improve the thermoelectric properties of the systems. More importantly, under a relatively low temperature, the maximal ZT of a defective zigzag γ-GYNR is as high as 2.12, indicating that γ-GYNRs are promising materials for constructing excellent thermoelectric nanodevices.

  18. Band structure engineering through orbital interaction for enhanced thermoelectric power factor

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Hong; Sun, Wenhao; Ceder, Gerbrand; Armiento, Rickard; Lazic, Predrag

    2014-02-24

    Band structure engineering for specific electronic or optical properties is essential for the further development of many important technologies including thermoelectrics, optoelectronics, and microelectronics. In this work, we report orbital interaction as a powerful tool to finetune the band structure and the transport properties of charge carriers in bulk crystalline semiconductors. The proposed mechanism of orbital interaction on band structure is demonstrated for IV-VI thermoelectric semiconductors. For IV-VI materials, we find that the convergence of multiple carrier pockets not only displays a strong correlation with the s-p and spin-orbit coupling but also coincides with the enhancement of power factor. Our results suggest a useful path to engineer the band structure and an enticing solid-solution design principle to enhance thermoelectric performance.

  19. Enhancing efficiency and power of quantum-dots resonant tunneling thermoelectrics in three-terminal geometry by cooperative effects

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Jian-Hua

    2014-11-21

    We propose a scheme of multilayer thermoelectric engine where one electric current is coupled to two temperature gradients in three-terminal geometry. This is realized by resonant tunneling through quantum dots embedded in two thermal and electrical resisting polymer matrix layers between highly conducting semiconductor layers. There are two thermoelectric effects, one of which is pertaining to inelastic transport processes (if energies of quantum dots in the two layers are different), while the other exists also for elastic transport processes. These two correspond to the transverse and longitudinal thermoelectric effects, respectively, and are associated with different temperature gradients. We show that cooperation between the two thermoelectric effects leads to markedly improved figure of merit and power factor, which is confirmed by numerical calculation using material parameters. Such enhancement is robust against phonon heat conduction and energy level broadening. Therefore, we demonstrated cooperative effect as an additional way to effectively improve performance of thermoelectrics in three-terminal geometry.

  20. Enhanced performance of dye-sensitized solar cell using Bi2Te3 nanotube/ZnO nanoparticle composite photoanode by the synergistic effect of photovoltaic and thermoelectric conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dou, Yuanyao; Wu, Fang; Fang, Liang; Liu, Gaobin; Mao, Caiying; Wan, Kai; Zhou, Miao

    2016-03-01

    Ultralong and highly crystalline rhombohedral Bi2Te3 nanotubes were fabricated by a two-step solution phase reaction. A novel photoanode architecture has been fabricated by embedding 0-2.5 wt.% Bi2Te3 nanotubes into ZnO nanoparticles. The photocurrent density-voltage (J-V) characteristics reveal that the dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with Bi2Te3/ZnO composite photoanode exhibit significantly enhanced photovoltaic performance. Notably, the DSSC incorporating 1.5 wt.% Bi2Te3 in the ZnO photoanode demonstrates an energy conversion efficiency (η) of 4.27%, which is 44.3% higher than that of the bare ZnO photoanode. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis shows that the Bi2Te3 nanotubes can provide a direct pathway for electron transportation, prolong the lifetime of electrons, suppress the charge recombination and improve the electron collection efficiency. The thermoelectric effect analysis indicates that with the increase of irradiation time, Bi2Te3/ZnO composite photoanode could convert both heat and photon energies to electrical energy simultaneously and slow down the decline of η. The calculated electron density (ns) further proves that the increment of short-circuit current density (Jsc) is attributed to Seebeck effect in the composite photoanode. These results suggest that compositing 1D thermoelectric nano-materials in photoanode is a promising route to improve the performance of DSSCs.

  1. High Performance Graphene Nano-ribbon Thermoelectric Devices by Incorporation and Dimensional Tuning of Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Sharafat Hossain, Md; Al-Dirini, Feras; Hossain, Faruque M.; Skafidas, Efstratios

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric properties of Graphene nano-ribbons (GNRs) with nanopores (NPs) are explored for a range of pore dimensions in order to achieve a high performance two-dimensional nano-scale thermoelectric device. We reduce thermal conductivity of GNRs by introducing pores in them in order to enhance their thermoelectric performance. The electrical properties (Seebeck coefficient and conductivity) of the device usually degrade with pore inclusion; however, we tune the pore to its optimal dimension in order to minimize this degradation, enhancing the overall thermoelectric performance (high ZT value) of our device. We observe that the side channel width plays an important role to achieve optimal performance while the effect of pore length is less pronounced. This result is consistent with the fact that electronic conduction in GNRs is dominated along its edges. Ballistic transport regime is assumed and a semi-empirical method using Huckel basis set is used to obtain the electrical properties, while the phononic system is characterized by Tersoff empirical potential model. The proposed device structure has potential applications as a nanoscale local cooler and as a thermoelectric power generator. PMID:26083450

  2. High Performance Graphene Nano-ribbon Thermoelectric Devices by Incorporation and Dimensional Tuning of Nanopores.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Md Sharafat; Al-Dirini, Feras; Hossain, Faruque M; Skafidas, Efstratios

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric properties of Graphene nano-ribbons (GNRs) with nanopores (NPs) are explored for a range of pore dimensions in order to achieve a high performance two-dimensional nano-scale thermoelectric device. We reduce thermal conductivity of GNRs by introducing pores in them in order to enhance their thermoelectric performance. The electrical properties (Seebeck coefficient and conductivity) of the device usually degrade with pore inclusion; however, we tune the pore to its optimal dimension in order to minimize this degradation, enhancing the overall thermoelectric performance (high ZT value) of our device. We observe that the side channel width plays an important role to achieve optimal performance while the effect of pore length is less pronounced. This result is consistent with the fact that electronic conduction in GNRs is dominated along its edges. Ballistic transport regime is assumed and a semi-empirical method using Huckel basis set is used to obtain the electrical properties, while the phononic system is characterized by Tersoff empirical potential model. The proposed device structure has potential applications as a nanoscale local cooler and as a thermoelectric power generator. PMID:26083450

  3. High Performance Graphene Nano-ribbon Thermoelectric Devices by Incorporation and Dimensional Tuning of Nanopores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharafat Hossain, Md; Al-Dirini, Feras; Hossain, Faruque M.; Skafidas, Efstratios

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric properties of Graphene nano-ribbons (GNRs) with nanopores (NPs) are explored for a range of pore dimensions in order to achieve a high performance two-dimensional nano-scale thermoelectric device. We reduce thermal conductivity of GNRs by introducing pores in them in order to enhance their thermoelectric performance. The electrical properties (Seebeck coefficient and conductivity) of the device usually degrade with pore inclusion; however, we tune the pore to its optimal dimension in order to minimize this degradation, enhancing the overall thermoelectric performance (high ZT value) of our device. We observe that the side channel width plays an important role to achieve optimal performance while the effect of pore length is less pronounced. This result is consistent with the fact that electronic conduction in GNRs is dominated along its edges. Ballistic transport regime is assumed and a semi-empirical method using Huckel basis set is used to obtain the electrical properties, while the phononic system is characterized by Tersoff empirical potential model. The proposed device structure has potential applications as a nanoscale local cooler and as a thermoelectric power generator.

  4. Thermoelectric pump performance analysis computer code

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, J. L.

    1973-01-01

    A computer program is presented that was used to analyze and design dual-throat electromagnetic dc conduction pumps for the 5-kwe ZrH reactor thermoelectric system. In addition to a listing of the code and corresponding identification of symbols, the bases for this analytical model are provided.

  5. High performance P-type thermoelectric materials and methods of preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alexander (Inventor); Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    The present invention is embodied in high performance p-type thermoelectric materials having enhanced thermoelectric properties and the methods of preparing such materials. In one aspect of the invention, p-type semiconductors of formula Zn.sub.4-x A.sub.x Sb.sub.3-y B.sub.y wherein 0.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.4, A is a transition metal, B is a pnicogen, and 0.ltoreq.y.ltoreq.3 are formed for use in manufacturing thermoelectric devices with substantially enhanced operating characteristics and improved efficiency. Two methods of preparing p-type Zn.sub.4 Sb.sub.3 and related alloys of the present invention include a crystal growth method and a powder metallurgy method.

  6. Experimental Investigation on Effect of Adhesives on Thermoelectric Generator Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Baljit; Remeli, Muhammad Fairuz; Chet, Ding Lai; Oberoi, Amandeep; Date, Abhijit; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) convert heat energy into electricity. Currently, these devices are attached to heat exchangers by means of mechanical devices such as clamps or fixtures with nuts and bolts. These mechanical devices are not suitable for use in harsh environments due to problems with rusting and maintenance. To eliminate the need for such mechanical devices, various kinds of adhesives used to attach thermoelectric generators to heat exchangers are investigated experimentally in this work. These adhesives have been selected based on their thermal properties and also their stability to work in harsh environments to avoid damage to the integrity of the attachment over long periods of time. Stainless-steel plates were attached to a thermoelectric generator using the adhesives. The introduction of the adhesive as a means of attachment for thermoelectric generators contributes to increase the thermal resistance to heat transfer across the TEG. The adhesive layers increased the thermal resistance of the thermoelectric generator by 16% to 109%. This work examines the effect of the adhesives on the thermal performance and power output of a single thermoelectric generator for various heat inputs.

  7. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of PEDOT:PSS and Tellurium-PEDOT:PSS Hybrid Composites by Simple Chemical Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin Bae, Eun; Hun Kang, Young; Jang, Kwang-Suk; Yun Cho, Song

    2016-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and tellurium-PEDOT:PSS (Te-PEDOT:PSS) hybrid composites were enhanced via simple chemical treatment. The performance of thermoelectric materials is determined by their electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Significant enhancement of the electrical conductivity of PEDOT:PSS and Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites from 787.99 and 11.01 to 4839.92 and 334.68 S cm-1, respectively was achieved by simple chemical treatment with H2SO4. The power factor of the developed materials could be effectively tuned over a very wide range depending on the concentration of the H2SO4 solution used in the chemical treatment. The power factors of the developed thermoelectric materials were optimized to 51.85 and 284 μW m-1 K-2, respectively, which represent an increase of four orders of magnitude relative to the corresponding parameters of the untreated thermoelectric materials. Using the Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites, a flexible thermoelectric generator that could be embedded in textiles was fabricated by a printing process. This thermoelectric array generates a thermoelectric voltage of 2 mV using human body heat.

  8. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of PEDOT:PSS and Tellurium-PEDOT:PSS Hybrid Composites by Simple Chemical Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Jin Bae, Eun; Hun Kang, Young; Jang, Kwang-Suk; Yun Cho, Song

    2016-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and tellurium-PEDOT:PSS (Te-PEDOT:PSS) hybrid composites were enhanced via simple chemical treatment. The performance of thermoelectric materials is determined by their electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Significant enhancement of the electrical conductivity of PEDOT:PSS and Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites from 787.99 and 11.01 to 4839.92 and 334.68 S cm−1, respectively was achieved by simple chemical treatment with H2SO4. The power factor of the developed materials could be effectively tuned over a very wide range depending on the concentration of the H2SO4 solution used in the chemical treatment. The power factors of the developed thermoelectric materials were optimized to 51.85 and 284 μW m−1 K−2, respectively, which represent an increase of four orders of magnitude relative to the corresponding parameters of the untreated thermoelectric materials. Using the Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites, a flexible thermoelectric generator that could be embedded in textiles was fabricated by a printing process. This thermoelectric array generates a thermoelectric voltage of 2 mV using human body heat. PMID:26728992

  9. Thermoelectric performance enhancement of Mg2Sn based solid solutions by band convergence and phonon scattering via Pb and Si/Ge substitution for Sn.

    PubMed

    Mao, Jun; Wang, Yumei; Ge, Binghui; Jie, Qing; Liu, Zihang; Saparamadu, Udara; Liu, Weishu; Ren, Zhifeng

    2016-07-27

    In this study, the thermoelectric properties of Mg2Sn0.98-xPbxSb0.02 were first studied, and then Mg2Sn0.93-xSixPb0.05Sb0.02 and Mg2Sn0.93-xGexPb0.05Sb0.02 were accordingly investigated. The results showed that the formation of Mg2Sn0.98-xPbxSb0.02 solid solutions effectively reduced the lattice thermal conductivity of Mg2Sn. The room temperature lattice thermal conductivity of Mg2Sn0.98Sb0.02 is ∼5.2 W m(-1) K(-1) but only ∼2.5 W m(-1) K(-1) for Mg2Sn0.73Pb0.25Sb0.02, a reduction of ∼52%. Further alloying Mg2Sn0.98-xPbxSb0.02 with Mg2Si or Mg2Ge to form Mg2Sn0.93-xSixPb0.05Sb0.02 or Mg2Sn0.93-xGexPb0.05Sb0.02 reduced the lattice thermal conductivity significantly due to enhanced phonon scattering by point defects as well as nanoparticles. Moreover, bipolar thermal conductivities were suppressed due to the larger bandgap of Mg2Si and Mg2Ge than Mg2Sn. Furthermore, similar to the pseudo-binary Mg2Sn-Mg2Si and Mg2Sn-Mg2Ge systems, band convergence was also observed in pseudo-ternary Mg2Sn0.93-xSixPb0.05Sb0.02 and Mg2Sn0.93-xGexPb0.05Sb0.02 materials. The convergence of conduction bands led to higher PFs at lower temperatures for Mg2Sn0.93-xSixPb0.05Sb0.02 and Mg2Sn0.93-xGexPb0.05Sb0.02 materials. As a result, higher peak ZTs of ∼1.3 for Mg2Sn0.63Si0.3Pb0.05Sb0.02 and ∼1.2 for Mg2Sn0.68Ge0.25Pb0.05Sb0.02 were achieved. PMID:27412367

  10. Molten gallium flux synthesis of known thermoelectric and novel magnetic inorganic clathrate compounds: Improving thermoelectric performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, John Daniel

    Molten gallium metal has been used as a solvent to grow large single crystals of known inorganic thermoelectric clathrates Sr8Ga 16Ge30, Ba8Ga16Ge30, and Ba8Ga16Si30. X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, electron microprobe, Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry, temperature dependent electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient measurements characterized the single crystals. The Thermoelectric performance was shown to be heavily dependent on the synthetic conditions including container choice, thermal history and impurity concentration. Inorganic Clathrates have attracted intense interest in last several years as potential new materials for thermoelectric devices. If a small to moderate increase in thermoelectric performance over the currently used materials is realized, substantial environmental and technological gains could be achieved. Since thermoelectric refrigeration modules require no moving parts or heat exchange gas (freon) they offer significant advantages over conventional refrigeration technology that tends to fail due to the finite lifetime of the pumping equipment. High temperature devices are also extremely useful for power generation in harsh unforgiving environments where excess heat is available. The thermoelectric performance, primarily at room temperature, of these compounds was found to be heavily dependent on the synthetic procedures used to obtain them. A flux growth procedure was developed to overcome the problems of the traditional melt-quench-anneal solid-state chemical approach. This procedure yielded large single crystals of the Sr8Ga16Ge 30, Ba8Ga16Ge30 and Ba8Ga 16Si30 compounds which ready facilitated their chemical and electronic study. Finally, an outlook on the application of these compounds as thermoelectric devices is given. Application of the flux method to other systems was also successful in the discovery of two new inorganic clathrate compounds: type IV Eu4Ga 8Ge16 and type V Yb8Ga16Ge14. The Eu4Ga8Ge16 compound was found to

  11. High performance thermoelectric materials and methods of preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry F. (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alexander (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Transition metals (T) of Group VIII (Co, Rh and Ir) have been prepared as semiconductor alloys with Sb having the general formula TSb.sub.3. The skutterudite-type crystal lattice structure of these semiconductor alloys and their enhanced thermoelectric properties results in semiconductor materials which may be used in the fabrication of thermoelectric elements to substantially improve the efficiency of the resulting thermoelectric device. Semiconductor alloys having the desired skutterudite-type crystal lattice structure may be prepared in accordance with the present invention by using vertical gradient freeze techniques, liquid-solid phase sintering techniques, low temperature powder sintering and/or hot-pressing. Measurements of electrical and thermal transport properties of selected semiconductor materials prepared in accordance with the present invention, demonstrated high Hall mobilities (up to 8000 cm.sup.2.V.sup.-1.s.sup.-1), good Seebeck coefficients (up to 400 .mu.VK.sup.-1 between 300.degree. C. and 700.degree. C.), and low thermal conductivities (as low as 15 mW/cmK). Optimizing the transport properties of semiconductor materials prepared from elemental mixtures Co, Rh, Ir and Sb resulted in a two fold increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) at temperatures as high as 400.degree. C. for thermoelectric elements fabricated from such semiconductor materials.

  12. Optimization of thermoelectric performance in semiconducting polymers for understanding charge transport and flexible thermoelectric applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaudell, Anne; Chabinyc, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Organic electronic materials have been widely considered for a variety of energy conversion applications, from photovoltaics to LEDs. Only very recently have organic materials been considered for thermoelectric applications - converting between temperature gradients and electrical potential. The intrinsic disorder in semiconducting polymers leads to an inherently low thermal conductivity, a key parameter in thermoelectric performance. The ability to solution deposit on flexible substrates opens up niche applications including personal cooling and conformal devices. Here work is presented on the electrical conductivity and thermopower of thin film semiconducting polymers, including P3HT and PBTTT-C14. Thermoelectric properties are explored over a wide range of conductivities, from nearly insulating to beyond 100 S/cm, enabled by employing different doping mechanisms, including molecular charge-transfer doping with F4TCNQ and vapor doping with a fluoroalkyl trichlorosilane (FTS). Temperature-dependent measurements suggest competing charge transport mechanisms, likely due to the mixed ordered/disordered character of these polymers. These results show promise for organic materials for thermoelectric applications, and recent results on thin film devices will also be presented.

  13. Thermoelectric effect enhanced by resonant states in graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inglot, M.; Dyrdał, A.; Dugaev, V. K.; Barnaś, J.

    2015-03-01

    Thermoelectric effects in graphene are considered theoretically with particular attention paid to the role of resonant scattering on impurities. Using the T -matrix method we calculate the impurity resonant states and the momentum relaxation time due to scattering on impurities. The Boltzmann kinetic equation is used to determine the thermoelectric coefficients. It is shown that the resonant impurity states near the Fermi level give rise to a resonant enhancement of the Seebeck coefficient and figure of merit Z T . The Wiedemann-Franz ratio deviates from that known for ordinary metals, where this ratio is constant and equal to the Lorentz number. This deviation appears for small chemical potentials and in the vicinity of the resonant states. In the limit of a constant relaxation time, this ratio has been calculated analytically for μ =0 .

  14. Correlation between dimensional crossover and thermoelectric performance in conducting polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Junhyeon; Oh, In-Seon; Jin, Mi-Jin; Yoo, Jung-Woo

    Conjugated polymers are emerging as attractive thermoelectric materials, resulting from low thermal conductivity, easy process and variable potentials for change. Recently, there are significant improvements of the Seebeck coefficient (S) and electric conductivity (σ) in the conjugated polymers by adding chemical additives to reform its ordinary disordered structure system. However, the relation between thermoelectricity and charge transport in the system is not well understood, which gives us a new challenge to improve thermoelectricity in the organic system. Here, we studied thermoelectric performance of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) with adding variable amounts of fluorosurfactant Zonyl. The charge transport in this disordered system was analyzed within variable range hopping (VRH), which showed the change of hopping dimensionality with further molecular dopants. The morphological change and its effect on charge transport and thermoelectric performance were further investigated through AFM, XPS, etc. As a result, we found the optimal condition for increasing both the Seebeck coefficient and electric conductivity, resulting in a significant improvement for the power factor (S2 σ) .

  15. Characteristic Evaluation on Cooling Performance of Thermoelectric Modules.

    PubMed

    Seo, Sae Rom; Han, Seungwoo

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this work is to develop a performance evaluation system for thermoelectric cooling modules. We describe the design of such a system, composed of a vacuum chamber with a heat sink along with a metal block to measure the absorbed heat Qc. The system has a simpler structure than existing water-cooled or air-cooled systems. The temperature difference between the cold and hot sides of the thermoelectric module ΔT can be accurately measured without any effects due to convection, and the temperature equilibrium time is minimized compared to a water-cooled system. The evaluation system described here can be used to measure characteristic curves of Qc as a function of ΔT, as well as the current-voltage relations. High-performance thermoelectric systems can therefore be developed using optimal modules evaluated with this system. PMID:26726381

  16. Thermoelectric ZT enhanced by asymmetric configuration in single-molecule-magnet junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Pengbin; Shi, Yunlong; Sun, Zhu; Nie, Yi-Hang; Luo, Hong-Gang

    2016-02-01

    In mesoscopic devices, many factors like the Coulomb and spin interactions can enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. Here we use a system consisting of a single-molecule magnet (SMM) connected to two ferromagnetic electrodes to consider the possible enhancement effects of thermoelectric efficiency. By introducing an asymmetric configuration to the transport junction, we find that this configuration can significantly enhance the thermoelectric ZT. The optimized asymmetric thermoelectric ZT is five times that of the ZT with a symmetric configuration or non-magnetic case. Due to this asymmetry, a non-zero charge thermopower at the electron-hole symmetry point is also found. These results demonstrate that the asymmetry of the transport junction helps to enhance thermoelectric efficiency and is useful for fabricating SMM-based thermoelectric devices.

  17. Nanocrystalline silicon: Lattice dynamics and enhanced thermoelectric properties

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Claudio, Tania; Stein, Niklas; Stroppa, Daniel G.; Klobes, Benedikt; Koza, Michael Marek; Kudejova, Petra; Petermann, Nils; Wiggers, Hartmut; Schierning, Gabi; Hermann, Raphaël P.

    2014-12-21

    In this study, silicon has several advantages when compared to other thermoelectric materials, but until recently it was not used for thermoelectric applications due to its high thermal conductivity, 156 W K-1 m-1 at room temperature. Nanostructuration as means to decrease thermal transport through enhanced phonon scattering has been a subject of many studies. In this work we have evaluated the effects of nanostructuration on the lattice dynamics of bulk nanocrystalline doped silicon. The samples were prepared by gas phase synthesis, followed by current and pressure assisted sintering. The heat capacity, density of phonons states, and elastic constants were measured,more » which all reveal a significant, ≈25%, reduction in the speed of sound. The samples present a significantly decreased lattice thermal conductivity, ≈25 W K-1 m-1, which, combined with a very high carrier mobility, results in a dimensionless figure of merit with a competitive value that peaks at ZT ≈ 0.57 at 973 °C. Due to its easily scalable and extremely low-cost production process, nanocrystalline Si prepared by gas phase synthesis followed by sintering could become the material of choice for high temperature thermoelectric generators.« less

  18. Nanocrystalline silicon: Lattice dynamics and enhanced thermoelectric properties

    SciTech Connect

    Claudio, Tania; Stein, Niklas; Stroppa, Daniel G.; Klobes, Benedikt; Koza, Michael Marek; Kudejova, Petra; Petermann, Nils; Wiggers, Hartmut; Schierning, Gabi; Hermann, Raphaël P.

    2014-12-21

    In this study, silicon has several advantages when compared to other thermoelectric materials, but until recently it was not used for thermoelectric applications due to its high thermal conductivity, 156 W K-1 m-1 at room temperature. Nanostructuration as means to decrease thermal transport through enhanced phonon scattering has been a subject of many studies. In this work we have evaluated the effects of nanostructuration on the lattice dynamics of bulk nanocrystalline doped silicon. The samples were prepared by gas phase synthesis, followed by current and pressure assisted sintering. The heat capacity, density of phonons states, and elastic constants were measured, which all reveal a significant, ≈25%, reduction in the speed of sound. The samples present a significantly decreased lattice thermal conductivity, ≈25 W K-1 m-1, which, combined with a very high carrier mobility, results in a dimensionless figure of merit with a competitive value that peaks at ZT ≈ 0.57 at 973 °C. Due to its easily scalable and extremely low-cost production process, nanocrystalline Si prepared by gas phase synthesis followed by sintering could become the material of choice for high temperature thermoelectric generators.

  19. Nanocrystalline silicon: lattice dynamics and enhanced thermoelectric properties.

    PubMed

    Claudio, Tania; Stein, Niklas; Stroppa, Daniel G; Klobes, Benedikt; Koza, Michael Marek; Kudejova, Petra; Petermann, Nils; Wiggers, Hartmut; Schierning, Gabi; Hermann, Raphaël P

    2014-12-21

    Silicon has several advantages when compared to other thermoelectric materials, but until recently it was not used for thermoelectric applications due to its high thermal conductivity, 156 W K(-1) m(-1) at room temperature. Nanostructuration as means to decrease thermal transport through enhanced phonon scattering has been a subject of many studies. In this work we have evaluated the effects of nanostructuration on the lattice dynamics of bulk nanocrystalline doped silicon. The samples were prepared by gas phase synthesis, followed by current and pressure assisted sintering. The heat capacity, density of phonons states, and elastic constants were measured, which all reveal a significant, ≈25%, reduction in the speed of sound. The samples present a significantly decreased lattice thermal conductivity, ≈25 W K(-1) m(-1), which, combined with a very high carrier mobility, results in a dimensionless figure of merit with a competitive value that peaks at ZT≈ 0.57 at 973 °C. Due to its easily scalable and extremely low-cost production process, nanocrystalline Si prepared by gas phase synthesis followed by sintering could become the material of choice for high temperature thermoelectric generators. PMID:24848359

  20. Critical Role of Processing on the Thermoelectric Performance of Doped Semiconducting Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Shrayesh; Glaudell, Anne; Chabinyc, Michael

    The ability to convert excess waste heat into useable energy can significantly help meet the global energy demands. One may capture this waste heat through thermoelectrics devices. In a thermoelectric material, the charge carriers transport both electrical current and heat. Consequently, under a temperature difference (ΔT), a carrier concentration gradient results in a voltage (ΔV), which is related to the Seebeck coefficient, α = - Δ V/ ΔT. One of the challenges lies in finding materials that simultaneously have low thermal conductivity (κ) , high electrical conductivity (σ) , and high Seebeck coefficient (α) . Conjugated semiconducting polymers can potentially meet this demand due to their inherent low thermal conductivity and high electrical conductivity through sufficient doping. Here, we report on the critical role of thermal processing on the enhancement of thermoelectric properties of conjugated polymer thin films. These films were doping using three different mechanisms: acid (toluene sulfonic acid), charge transfer (F4TCNQ), and vapor (fluorinated-alkyl trichlorosilane). These thermoelectrics properties will be correlated to the structural and morphological properties of the doped thin-films through various synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques. Lastly, to further elucidate the charge transport mechanism driving the thermoelectric performance, we report on the temperature-dependent measurements of both the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity.

  1. Predicting the optimized thermoelectric performance of MgAgSb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, C. Y.; Liu, H. J.; Fan, D. D.; Cheng, L.; Zhang, J.; Wei, J.; Liang, J. H.; Jiang, P. H.; Shi, J.

    2016-05-01

    Using first-principles method and Boltzmann theory, we provide an accurate prediction of the electronic band structure and thermoelectric transport properties of α-MgAgSb. Our calculations demonstrate that only when an appropriate exchange-correlation functional is chosen can we correctly reproduce the semiconducting nature of this compound. By fine tuning the carrier concentration, the thermoelectric performance of α-MgAgSb can be significantly optimized, which exhibits a strong temperature dependence and gives a maximum ZT value of 1.7 at 550 K. We also provide a simple map by which one can efficiently find the best doping atoms and optimal doping content.

  2. Air-tolerant Fabrication and Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of n-Type Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes Encapsulating 1,1'-Bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene.

    PubMed

    Nonoguchi, Yoshiyuki; Iihara, Yu; Ohashi, Kenji; Murayama, Tomoko; Kawai, Tsuyoshi

    2016-09-01

    The thermally-triggered n-type doping of single-walled carbon nanotubes is demonstrated using 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene, a novel n-type dopant. Through a simple thermal vacuum process, the phosphine compounds are moderately encapsulated inside single-walled carbon nanotubes. The encapsulation into SWNTs is carefully characterized using Raman/X-ray spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. This easy-to-handle doping with air-stable precursors for n-type SWNTs enables the large-scale fabrication of thermoelectric materials showing an excellent power factor exceeding approximately 240 μW mK(-2) . PMID:27439731

  3. Search and Development of High Performance Thermoelectric Materials: A Controlled Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, J. -P.

    1995-01-01

    The paper discusses some of the lessons learned in research and development of high performance thermoelectric materials. Discussion is on optimizing existing thermoelectric materials and considerations for development of new materials.

  4. Significant enhancement of the thermoelectric figure of merit of polycrystalline Si films by reducing grain size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valalaki, K.; Vouroutzis, N.; Nassiopoulou, A. G.

    2016-08-01

    The thermoelectric properties of p-type polycrystalline silicon thin films deposited by low pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD) were accurately determined at room temperature and the thermoelectric figure of merit was deduced as a function of film thickness, ranging from 100 to 500 nm. The effect of film thickness on their thermoelectric performance is discussed. More than threefold increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit of the 100 nm thick polysilicon film was observed compared to the 500 nm thick film, reaching a value as high as 0.033. This enhancement is mainly the result of the smaller grain size in the thinner films. With the decrease in grain size the resistivity of the films is increased twofold and electrical conductivity decreased, however the Seebeck coefficient is increased by 30% and the thermal conductivity is decreased eightfold, being mainly at the origin of the increased figure of merit of the 100 nm film. Our experimental results were compared to known theoretical models and the possible mechanisms involved are presented and discussed.

  5. Nanostructures boost the thermoelectric performance of PbS.

    PubMed

    Johnsen, Simon; He, Jiaqing; Androulakis, John; Dravid, Vinayak P; Todorov, Iliya; Chung, Duck Y; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G

    2011-03-16

    In situ nanostructuring in bulk thermoelectric materials through thermo-dynamic phase segregation has established itself as an effective paradigm for optimizing the performance of thermoelectric materials. In bulk PbTe small compositional variations create coherent and semicoherent nanometer sized precipitates embedded in a PbTe matrix, where they can impede phonon propagation at little or no expense to the electronic properties. In this paper the nanostructuring paradigm is for the first time extended to a bulk PbS based system, which despite obvious advantages of price and abundancy, so far has been largely disregarded in thermoelectric research due to inferior room temperature thermoelectric properties relative to the pristine fellow chalcogenides, PbSe and PbTe. Herein we report on the synthesis, microstructural morphology and thermoelectric properties of two phase (PbS)(1-x)(PbTe)(x)x = 0-0.16 samples. We have found that the addition of only a few percent PbTe to PbS results in a highly nanostructured material, where PbTe precipitates are coherently and semicoherently embedded in a PbS matrix. The present (PbS)(1-x)(PbTe)(x) nanostructured samples show substantial decreases in lattice thermal conductivity relative to pristine PbS, while the electronic properties are left largely unaltered. This in turn leads to a marked increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit. This study underlines the efficiency of the nanostructuring approach and strongly supports its generality and applicability to other material systems. We demonstrate that these PbS-based materials, which are made primarily from abundant Pb and S, outperform optimally n-type doped pristine PbTe above 770 K. PMID:21332121

  6. Nanostructures boost the thermoelectric performance of PbS.

    SciTech Connect

    Johnsen, S.; Androulakis, J.; He, J. Q.; Dravid, V. P.; Todorov, I.; Chung, D. Y.; Kanatzidis, M. G.

    2011-03-16

    In situ nanostructuring in bulk thermoelectric materials through thermo-dynamic phase segregation has established itself as an effective paradigm for optimizing the performance of thermoelectric materials. In bulk PbTe small compositional variations create coherent and semicoherent nanometer sized precipitates embedded in a PbTe matrix, where they can impede phonon propagation at little or no expense to the electronic properties. In this paper the nanostructuring paradigm is for the first time extended to a bulk PbS based system, which despite obvious advantages of price and abundancy, so far has been largely disregarded in thermoelectric research due to inferior room temperature thermoelectric properties relative to the pristine fellow chalcogenides, PbSe and PbTe. Herein we report on the synthesis, microstructural morphology and thermoelectric properties of two phase (PbS){sub 1-x}(PbTe){sub x}x = 0-0.16 samples. We have found that the addition of only a few percent PbTe to PbS results in a highly nanostructured material, where PbTe precipitates are coherently and semicoherently embedded in a PbS matrix. The present (PbS){sub 1-x}(PbTe){sub x} nanostructured samples show substantial decreases in lattice thermal conductivity relative to pristine PbS, while the electronic properties are left largely unaltered. This in turn leads to a marked increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit. This study underlines the efficiency of the nanostructuring approach and strongly supports its generality and applicability to other material systems. We demonstrate that these PbS-based materials, which are made primarily from abundant Pb and S, outperform optimally n-type doped pristine PbTe above 770 K.

  7. Nanostructures boost the thermoelectric performance of PbS

    SciTech Connect

    Johnsen, Simon; He, Jiaqing; Androulakis, John; Dravid, Vinayak; Todorov, Iliya; Chung, Duck Young; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

    2011-02-18

    In situ nanostructuring in bulk thermoelectric materials through thermo-dynamic phase segregation has established itself as an effective paradigm for optimizing the performance of thermoelectric materials. In bulk PbTe small compositional variations create coherent and semicoherent nanometer sized precipitates embedded in a PbTe matrix, where they can impede phonon propagation at little or no expense to the electronic properties. In this paper the nanostructuring paradigm is for the first time extended to a bulk PbS based system, which despite obvious advantages of price and abundancy, so far has been largely disregarded in thermoelectric research due to inferior room temperature thermoelectric properties relative to the pristine fellow chalcogenides, PbSe and PbTe. Herein we report on the synthesis, microstructural morphology and thermoelectric properties of two phase (PbS)1-x(PbTe)xx = 0–0.16 samples. We have found that the addition of only a few percent PbTe to PbS results in a highly nanostructured material, where PbTe precipitates are coherently and semicoherently embedded in a PbS matrix. The present (PbS)1-x(PbTe)x nanostructured samples show substantial decreases in lattice thermal conductivity relative to pristine PbS, while the electronic properties are left largely unaltered. This in turn leads to a marked increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit. This study underlines the efficiency of the nanostructuring approach and strongly supports its generality and applicability to other material systems. We demonstrate that these PbS-based materials, which are made primarily from abundant Pb and S, outperform optimally n-type doped pristine PbTe above 770 K.

  8. Enhanced room-temperature thermoelectric performance of In-doped ZnO:Al thin films through prefabricated layer doping method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Zhuang-Hao; Fan, Ping; Luo, Jing-Ting; Liang, Guang-Xing; Zhang, Dong-Ping

    2015-05-01

    In this study, AZO thin films prepared by direct current reactive magnetron sputtering using a Zn-Al alloy target and In with varied content were doped through the prefabricated layer doping method in order to optimize their thermoelectric properties. The effects of In content on the room temperature microstructure and thermoelectric properties of the AZO thin films were investigated. It was found that the absolute value of the Seebeck coefficient of the thin films increases stably after In doping and reaches 153 μV·K-1 when the In content is 0.71%. Though the electrical conductivity of In-doped thin films is smaller than those of the un-doped films, the power factor of the thin films shows a significant increase after In doping with a maximum value of 2.22 × 10-4 W·m-1·K-2, which is several times that of the un-doped films.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  9. Thermoelectric performance of weakly coupled granular materials.

    SciTech Connect

    Glatz, A.; Beloborodov, I. S.; Materials Science Division; California State Univ. at Northridge

    2009-01-01

    We study thermoelectric properties of inhomogeneous nanogranular materials for weak tunneling conductance between the grains, g{sub t} < 1. We calculate the thermopower and figure of merit taking into account the shift of the chemical potential and the asymmetry of the density of states in the vicinity of the Fermi surface. We show that the weak coupling between the grains leads to a high thermopower and low thermal conductivity resulting in relatively high values of the figure of merit on the order of one. We estimate the temperature at which the figure of merit has its maximum value for two- and three-dimensional samples. Our results are applicable for many emerging materials, including artificially self-assembled nanoparticle arrays.

  10. A Facile Surfactant-Assisted Reflux Method for the Synthesis of Single-Crystalline Sb2Te3 Nanostructures with Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance.

    PubMed

    Yang, Heng Quan; Miao, Lei; Liu, Cheng Yan; Li, Chao; Honda, Sawao; Iwamoto, Yuji; Huang, Rong; Tanemura, Sakae

    2015-07-01

    Antimony telluride (Sb2Te3) and its based alloys are of importance to p-type semiconductors for thermoelectric applications near room temperature. Herein, we report a simple, low-energy intensive, and scalable surfactant-assisted reflux method for the synthesis of Sb2Te3 nanoparticles in the solvent ethylene glycol (EG) at low temperatures (120-180 °C). The formation mechanism of platelike Sb2Te3 nanoparticles is proposed. Also, it is found that the size, shape, and chemical composition of the products could be controlled by the introduction of organic surfactants (CTAB, PVP, etc.) or inorganic salts (EDTA-Na2, NaOH, etc.). Additionally, the collected Sb2Te3 nanoparticles were further fabricated into nanostructured pellets using cold-compaction and annealing techniques. Low resistivity [(7.37-19.4) × 10(-6) Ω m], moderate Seebeck coefficient (103-141 μV K(-1)), and high power factor (10-16 × 10(-4) W m(-1) K(-2)) have been achieved in our Sb2Te3-nanostructured bulk materials. The relatively low thermal conductivity (1.32-1.55 W m(-1) K(-1)) is attained in the nanobulk made of PVP-modified nanoparticles, and values of ZT in the range of 0.24-0.37 are realized at temperatures ranging from 50 to 200 °C. Our researches set forth a new avenue in promoting practical applications of Sb2Te3-based thermoelectric power generation or cooling devices. PMID:26060933

  11. Enhanced Thermoelectricity in High-Temperature β-Phase Copper(I) Selenides Embedded with Cu2Te Nanoclusters.

    PubMed

    Butt, Sajid; Xu, Wei; Farooq, Muhammad U; Ren, Guang K; Zhang, Qinghua; Zhu, Yingcai; Khan, Sajid U; Liu, Lijuan; Yu, Meijuan; Mohmed, Fida; Lin, Yuanhua; Nan, Ce-Wen

    2016-06-22

    We report remarkably enhanced thermoelectric performance of Te doped Cu2Se in midtemperature range. Through ball-milling process followed by spark plasma sintering (SPS), nanoscale Cu2Te clusters were embeded in the matrix of Cu2Se, inducing a drastic enhancement of thermoelectric performance by reducing the thermal conductivity without degrading the power factor. A large ZT value of 1.9 was achieved at 873 K for Cu2Se1.9Te0.1, which is about 2 times larger than that of the pure Cu2Se. The nanoscale heat management by Cu2Te nanoclusters in superionic conductors opens up an avenue for thermoelectric materials research. PMID:27135808

  12. Mechanical robust BiSbTe alloys with superior thermoelectric performance: A case study of stable hierarchical nanostructured thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Xianli; Zheng, Yun; Tang, Xinfeng; Uher, Ctirad; Tang's Group Team; Uher's Group Team

    2015-03-01

    Poor machinability and susceptibility to brittle fracture of commercial ingots often impose significant limitations on the manufacturing process and durability of thermoelectric devices. In this study, melt spinning combined with plasma activated sintering (MS-PAS) method is employed with commercial p-type zone-melted (ZM) ingots of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3. This fast synthesis approach achieves hierarchical structures and in-situ nanoscale precipitates, resulting in the simultaneous improvement of thermoelectric performance and mechanical properties. Benefitting from a strong suppression of the lattice thermal conductivity, a peak ZT of 1.22 is achieved at 340 K in MS-PAS synthesized structures, representing about a 40% enhancement over that of ZM ingots. Moreover, MS-PAS specimens with hierarchical structures exhibit superior machinability and mechanical properties with an almost 30% enhancement in the fracture toughness, eightfold and a factor of six increase in the compressive and flexural strength respectively. We wish to acknowledge support from the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program) under Project 2013CB632502.

  13. Development of a prototype thermoelectric space cooling system using phase change material to improve the performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Dongliang

    The thermoelectric cooling system has advantages over conventional vapor compression cooling devices, including compact in size, light in weight, high reliability, no mechanical moving parts, no refrigerant, being powered by direct current, and easily switching between cooling and heating modes. However, it has been long suffering from its relatively high cost and low energy efficiency, which has restricted its usage to niche applications, such as space missions, portable cooling devices, scientific and medical equipment, where coefficient of performance (COP) is not as important as reliability, energy availability, and quiet operation environment. Enhancement of thermoelectric cooling system performance generally relies on two methods: improving thermoelectric material efficiency and through thermoelectric cooling system thermal design. This research has been focused on the latter one. A prototype thermoelectric cooling system integrated with phase change material (PCM) thermal energy storage unit for space cooling has been developed. The PCM thermal storage unit used for cold storage at night, functions as the thermoelectric cooling system's heat sink during daytime's cooling period and provides relatively lower hot side temperature for the thermoelectric cooling system. The experimental test of the prototype system in a reduced-scale chamber has realized an average cooling COP of 0.87, with the maximum value of 1.22. Another comparison test for efficacy of PCM thermal storage unit shows that 35.3% electrical energy has been saved from using PCM for the thermoelectric cooling system. In general, PCM faces difficulty of poor thermal conductivity at both solid and liquid phases. This system implemented a finned inner tube to increase heat transfer during PCM charging (melting) process that directly impacts thermoelectric system's performance. A simulation tool for the entire system has been developed including mathematical models for a single thermoelectric module

  14. Precise measurement of the performance of thermoelectric modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz-Chao, Pablo; Muñiz-Piniella, Andrés; Selezneva, Ekaterina; Cuenat, Alexandre

    2016-08-01

    The potential exploitation of thermoelectric modules into mass market applications such as exhaust gas heat recovery in combustion engines requires an accurate knowledge of their performance. Further expansion of the market will also require confidence on the results provided by suppliers to end-users. However, large variation in performance and maximum operating point is observed for identical modules when tested by different laboratories. Here, we present the first metrological study of the impact of mounting and testing procedures on the precision of thermoelectric modules measurement. Variability in the electrical output due to mechanical pressure or type of thermal interface materials is quantified for the first time. The respective contribution of the temperature difference and the mean temperature to the variation in the output performance is quantified. The contribution of these factors to the total uncertainties in module characterisation is detailed.

  15. Enhanced power factor and high-pressure effects in (Bi,Sb){sub 2}(Te,Se){sub 3} thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Ovsyannikov, Sergey V. E-mail: sergey2503@gmail.com; Morozova, Natalia V.; Korobeinikov, Igor V.; Vokhmyanin, Alexander P.; Shchennikov, Vladimir V.; Lukyanova, Lidia N.; Usov, Oleg A.; Kutasov, Vsevolod A.; Manakov, Andrey Y.; Likhacheva, Anna Y.; Ancharov, Alexey I.; Berger, Ivan F.; Kulbachinskii, Vladimir A.; Okada, Taku

    2015-04-06

    We investigated the effects of applied high pressure on thermoelectric, electric, structural, and optical properties of single-crystalline thermoelectrics, Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3}, Bi{sub x}Sb{sub 2−x}Te{sub 3} (x = 0.4, 0.5, 0.6), and Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 2.73}Se{sub 0.27} with the high thermoelectric performance. We established that moderate pressure of about 2–4 GPa can greatly enhance the thermoelectric power factor of all of them. X-ray diffraction and Raman studies on Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} and Bi{sub 0.5}Sb{sub 1.5}Te{sub 3} found anomalies at similar pressures, indicating a link between crystal structure deformation and physical properties. We speculate about possible mechanisms of the power factor enhancement and suppose that pressure/stress tuning can be an effective tool for the optimization of the thermoelectric performance.

  16. High Thermoelectric Performance in Copper Telluride

    SciTech Connect

    He, Ying; Zhang, Tiansong; Shi, Xun; Wei, Su-Huai; Chen, Lidong

    2015-06-21

    Recently, Cu 2-δ S and Cu 2-δ Se were reported to have an ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit zT. Thus, as a member of the copper chalcogenide group, Cu 2-δ Te is expected to possess superior zTs because Te is less ionic and heavy. However, the zT value is low in the Cu2Te sintered using spark plasma sintering, which is typically used to fabricate high-density bulk samples. In addition, the extra sintering processes may change the samples’ compositions as well as their physical properties, especially for Cu2Te, which has many stable and meta-stable phases as well as weaker ionic bonding between Cu and Te as compared with Cu2S and Cu2Se. In this study, high-density Cu2Te samples were obtained using direct annealing without a sintering process. In the absence of sintering processes, the samples’ compositions could be well controlled, leading to substantially reduced carrier concentrations that are close to the optimal value. The electrical transports were optimized, and the thermal conductivity was considerably reduced. The zT values were significantly improved—to 1.1 at 1000 K—which is nearly 100% improvement. Furthermore, this method saves substantial time and cost during the sample’s growth. The study demonstrates that Cu 2-δ X (X=S, Se and Te) is the only existing system to show high zTs in the series of compounds composed of three sequential primary group elements.

  17. High Thermoelectric Performance in Copper Telluride

    DOE PAGESBeta

    He, Ying; Zhang, Tiansong; Shi, Xun; Wei, Su-Huai; Chen, Lidong

    2015-06-21

    Recently, Cu 2-δ S and Cu 2-δ Se were reported to have an ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit zT. Thus, as a member of the copper chalcogenide group, Cu 2-δ Te is expected to possess superior zTs because Te is less ionic and heavy. However, the zT value is low in the Cu2Te sintered using spark plasma sintering, which is typically used to fabricate high-density bulk samples. In addition, the extra sintering processes may change the samples’ compositions as well as their physical properties, especially for Cu2Te, which has many stable and meta-stable phasesmore » as well as weaker ionic bonding between Cu and Te as compared with Cu2S and Cu2Se. In this study, high-density Cu2Te samples were obtained using direct annealing without a sintering process. In the absence of sintering processes, the samples’ compositions could be well controlled, leading to substantially reduced carrier concentrations that are close to the optimal value. The electrical transports were optimized, and the thermal conductivity was considerably reduced. The zT values were significantly improved—to 1.1 at 1000 K—which is nearly 100% improvement. Furthermore, this method saves substantial time and cost during the sample’s growth. The study demonstrates that Cu 2-δ X (X=S, Se and Te) is the only existing system to show high zTs in the series of compounds composed of three sequential primary group elements.« less

  18. Impact of thermoelectric phenomena on phase-change memory performance metrics and scaling.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeho; Asheghi, Mehdi; Goodson, Kenneth E

    2012-05-25

    The coupled transport of heat and electrical current, or thermoelectric phenomena, can strongly influence the temperature distribution and figures of merit for phase-change memory (PCM). This paper simulates PCM devices with careful attention to thermoelectric transport and the resulting impact on programming current during the reset operation. The electrothermal simulations consider Thomson heating within the phase-change material and Peltier heating at the electrode interface. Using representative values for the Thomson and Seebeck coefficients extracted from our past measurements of these properties, we predict a cell temperature increase of 44% and a decrease in the programming current of 16%. Scaling arguments indicate that the impact of thermoelectric phenomena becomes greater with smaller dimensions due to enhanced thermal confinement. This work estimates the scaling of this reduction in programming current as electrode contact areas are reduced down to 10 nm × 10 nm. Precise understanding of thermoelectric phenomena and their impact on device performance is a critical part of PCM design strategies. PMID:22543873

  19. High thermoelectric performance of the distorted bismuth(110) layer.

    PubMed

    Cheng, L; Liu, H J; Zhang, J; Wei, J; Liang, J H; Jiang, P H; Fan, D D; Sun, L; Shi, J

    2016-07-14

    The thermoelectric properties of the distorted bismuth(110) layer are investigated using first-principles calculations combined with the Boltzmann transport equation for both electrons and phonons. To accurately predict the electronic and transport properties, the quasiparticle corrections with the GW approximation of many-body effects have been explicitly included. It is found that a maximum ZT value of 6.4 can be achieved for n-type systems, which essentially stemmed from the weak scattering of electrons. Moreover, we demonstrate that the distorted Bi layer retains high ZT values in relatively broad regions of both temperature and carrier concentration. Our theoretical work emphasizes that the deformation potential constant characterizing the electron-phonon scattering strength is an important paradigm for searching high thermoelectric performance materials. PMID:27302907

  20. Enhanced thermoelectric power and electronic correlations in RuSe₂

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Kefeng; Wang, Aifeng; Tomic, A.; Wang, Limin; Abeykoon, A. M. Milinda; Dooryhee, E.; Billinge, S. J.L.; Petrovic, C.

    2015-03-03

    We report the electronic structure, electric and thermal transport properties of Ru₁₋xIrxSe₂ (x ≤ 0.2). RuSe₂ is a semiconductor that crystallizes in a cubic pyrite unit cell. The Seebeck coefficient of RuSe₂ exceeds -200 µV/K around 730 K. Ir substitution results in the suppression of the resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient, suggesting the removal of the peaks in density of states near the Fermi level. Ru₀.₈Ir₀.₂Se₂ shows a semiconductor-metal crossover at about 30 K. The magnetic field restores the semiconducting behavior. Our results indicate the importance of the electronic correlations in enhanced thermoelectricity of RuSb₂.

  1. Enhanced thermoelectric power and electronic correlations in RuSe₂

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wang, Kefeng; Wang, Aifeng; Tomic, A.; Wang, Limin; Abeykoon, A. M. Milinda; Dooryhee, E.; Billinge, S. J.L.; Petrovic, C.

    2015-03-03

    We report the electronic structure, electric and thermal transport properties of Ru₁₋xIrxSe₂ (x ≤ 0.2). RuSe₂ is a semiconductor that crystallizes in a cubic pyrite unit cell. The Seebeck coefficient of RuSe₂ exceeds -200 µV/K around 730 K. Ir substitution results in the suppression of the resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient, suggesting the removal of the peaks in density of states near the Fermi level. Ru₀.₈Ir₀.₂Se₂ shows a semiconductor-metal crossover at about 30 K. The magnetic field restores the semiconducting behavior. Our results indicate the importance of the electronic correlations in enhanced thermoelectricity of RuSb₂.

  2. Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement

    SciTech Connect

    Seong, M; Sadhu, JS; Ma, J; Ghossoub, MG; Sinha, S

    2012-06-15

    Recent experimental work suggests that individual silicon nanowires with rough surfaces possess a thermoelectric figure of merit as high as 0.6 near room temperature. This paper addresses the possibility of using an array of such nanowires in a thermoelectric junction for generation. Employing a model of frequency dependent phonon boundary scattering, we estimate the effective thermal conductivity of the array and investigate heat flow through the junction. We show that charge transport is largely unaffected by the roughness scales considered. Enhancing the area for heat exchange at an individual 200 mu m x 200 mu m p-n junction yields significant temperature differences across the junction leading to power >0.6 mW and efficiency >1.5% for a junction with effective thermal conductivity <5 W/mK, when the source and sink are at 450 K and 300 K, respectively. We show that relatively short nanowires of similar to 50 mu m length are sufficient for obtaining peak power and reasonable efficiency. This substantially reduces the challenge of engineering low resistivity electrical contacts that critically affect power and efficiency. This paper provides insight into how fundamental transport in relation to bulk heat transfer and charge transport, affects the performance of thermoelectric junctions based on nanostructured materials. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4728189

  3. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generators Using New Very High Performance Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Ewell, Richard; Caillat, Thierry; Vandersande, Jan

    1994-07-01

    Extensive theoretical and experimental studies have resulted in reasonable performance improvements (from an average ZT of 0.62 up to 0.75) of the state of the art high temperature SiGe thermoelectric materials in the last 5 years. However, significantly higher material conversion efficiencies are needed to make thermoelectrics competitive and economically attractive. A new approach that looks at radically different compounds and alloys was recently started at JPL and a new family of materials with great potential has been discovered. A real breakthrough was achieved when maximum ZT values of 2.0 were obtained to date on one of these materials in the 300-400C temperature range. Initial analysis of various experimental tests have confirmed its good mechanical and physico-chemical properties. Substantial increases in conversion efficiency and specific power are predicted (60-90%) by incorporating this new material into state of the art space nuclear power systems such as Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG).

  4. Ultrahigh Thermoelectric Performance in Mosaic Crystals.

    PubMed

    He, Ying; Lu, Ping; Shi, Xun; Xu, Fangfang; Zhang, Tiansong; Snyder, Gerald Jeffrey; Uher, Ctirad; Chen, Lidong

    2015-06-24

    Successful research strategies to enhance the dimensionless figure of merit zT above 2 rely on either bulk nanomaterials or on single crystals. A new physical mechanism of nanoscale mosaicity is shown that goes beyond the approaches in single crystals or conventional nanomaterials. A zT value of 2.1 at 1000 K in bulk nanomaterials is achieved. PMID:25962487

  5. Enhanced efficiency of solar-driven thermoelectric generator with femtosecond laser-textured metals.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Taek Yong; Vorobyev, A Y; Guo, Chunlei

    2011-07-01

    Through femtosecond laser irradiation, we produce in this work a unique type of surface nanostructure on Al that have enhanced absorption at UV and visible but a relatively small emissivity in infrared. By integrating this laser-treated Al to a solar-driven thermoelectric generator, we show that the thermoelectric generator integrated with the femtosecond laser-treated Al foil generates a significantly higher power than the ones without. Our study shows that our technique can dramatically enhance the efficiency of solar-driven thermoelectric devices that may lead to a leap forward in solar energy harnessing. PMID:21747551

  6. Methods for Enhancing the Thermal Durability of High-Temperature Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skomedal, Gunstein; Kristiansen, Nils R.; Engvoll, Marianne; Middleton, Hugh

    2014-06-01

    Thermoelectric materials, for example skutterudites and magnesium silicides, are being investigated as promising materials for medium-to-high-temperature waste heat recovery in transport and in industry. A crucial aspect of the success of a thermoelectric material is its stability over time when exposed to rapid heating and cooling. In this work different aspects of the degradation of these thermoelectric materials at high temperature were examined. Initial thermal durability was studied, and several candidate coatings were evaluated to enhance durability by protecting the materials from oxidation and sublimation during thermal cycles in air for up to 500 h and up to 873 K. The samples were characterized by SEM and EDS. The results showed it is possible to reduce degradation of the thermoelectric material without compromising overall thermoelectric efficiency.

  7. Spectacular enhancement of thermoelectric phenomena in chemically synthesized graphene nanoribbons with substitution atoms.

    PubMed

    Zberecki, K; Swirkowicz, R; Wierzbicki, M; Barnaś, J

    2016-07-21

    We analyze theoretically the transport and thermoelectric properties of graphene nanoribbons of a specific geometry, which have been synthesized recently from polymers [Cai, et al., Nature, 2011, 466, 470]. When such nanoribbons are modified at one of the two edges by Al or N substitutions, they acquire a ferromagnetic moment localized at the modified edge. We present numerical results on the electronic structure and thermoelectric properties (including also spin thermoelectricity) of the modified nanoribbons. The results show that such nanoribbons can display large thermoelectric efficiency in certain regions of chemical potential, where the corresponding electric and spin figures of merit achieve unusually large values. The enhancement of thermoelectric efficiency follows from a reduced phonon heat conductance of the nanoribbons and from their peculiar electronic band structure. Thus, such nanoribbons are promising for practical applications in nanoelectronic and spintronic devices. PMID:27331357

  8. Performance of a Thermoelectric Device with Integrated Heat Exchangers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barry, Matthew M.; Agbim, Kenechi A.; Chyu, Minking K.

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric devices (TEDs) convert heat directly into electrical energy, making them well suited for waste heat recovery applications. An integrated thermoelectric device (iTED) is a restructured TED that allows more heat to enter the p-n junctions, thus producing a greater power output . An iTED has heat exchangers incorporated into the hot-side interconnectors with flow channels directing the working fluid through the heat exchangers. The iTED was constructed of p- and n-type bismuth-telluride semiconductors and copper interconnectors and rectangular heat exchangers. The performance of the iTED in terms of , produced voltage and current , heat input and conversion efficiency for various flow rates (), inlet temperatures (C) ) and load resistances () with a constant cold-side temperature ( = 0C) was conducted experimentally. An increase in had a greater effect on the performance than did an increase in . A 3-fold increase in resulted in a 3.2-, 3.1-, 9.7-, 3.5- and 2.8-fold increase in and respectively. For a constant of 50C, a 3-fold increase in from 3300 to 9920 resulted in 1.6-, 1.6-, 2.6-, 1.5- and 1.9-fold increases in , , , and respectively.

  9. Estimation of Thermoelectric Generator Performance by Finite Element Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, P.; Poinas, P.; Leszczynski, J.; Karpinski, G.; Müller, E.

    2010-09-01

    Prediction of thermoelectric performance parameters by numerical methods is an inherent part of thermoelectric generator (TEG) development and allows for time- and cost-saving assessment of material combinations and variations of crucial design parameters (e.g., shape, pellet length, and thermal coupling). Considering the complexity of a TEG system and its numerous affecting factors, the clarity and the flexibility of a mathematical treatment comes to the fore. Comfortable tools are provided by commercial finite element modeling (FEM) software offering powerful geometry interfaces, mesh generators, solvers, and postprocessing options. We describe the level of development and the simulation results of a three dimensional (3D) TEG FEM. Using ANSYS 11.0, we implemented and simulated a TEG module geometry under various conditions. Comparative analytical one dimensional (1D) results and a direct comparison with inhouse-developed TEG simulation software show the consistency of results. Several pellet aspect ratios and contact property configurations (thermal/electrical interface resistance) were evaluated for their impact on the TEG performance as well as parasitic effects such as convection, radiation, and conductive heat bypass. The scenarios considered revealed the highest efficiency decay for convectionally loaded setups (up to 4.8%pts), followed by the impacts of contact resistances (up to 4.8%pts), by radiation (up to 0.56%pts), and by thermal conduction of a solid filling material within the voids of the module construction (up to 0.14%pts).

  10. Thermochemically evolved nanoplatelets of bismuth selenide with enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit

    SciTech Connect

    Ali, Zulfiqar; Cao, Chuanbao Butt, Faheem K.; Tahir, Muhammad; Tanveer, M.; Aslam, Imran; Rizwan, Muhammad; Idrees, Faryal; Khalid, Syed; Butt, Sajid

    2014-11-15

    We firstly present a simple thermochemical method to fabricate high-quality Bi{sub 2}Se{sub 3} nanoplatelets with enhanced figure of merit using elemental bismuth and selenium powders as precursors. The crystal structure of as synthesized products is characterized via X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) measurements. Morphological and chemical synthetic parameters are investigated through a series of experiments; thickness and composition of the platelets are well controlled in large scale production. Subsequently spark plasma sintering (SPS) is performed to fabricate n-type nanostructured bulk thermoelectric materials. Raman Spectroscopy of the two selected samples with approximately of 50 and 100 nm thicknesses shows three vibrational modes. The lower thickness sample exhibits the maximum red shift of about 2.17 cm{sup -1} and maximum broadening of about 10 cm{sup -1} by in-plane vibrational mode E{sup 2}{sub g}. The enhanced value of figure of merit ∼0.41 is obtained for pure phase bismuth selenide to the best of our knowledge. We observe metallic conduction behavior while semiconducting behavior for nanostructured bismuth selenide is reported elsewhere which could be due to different synthetic techniques adopted. These results clearly suggest that our adopted synthetic technique has profound effect on the electronic and thermoelectric transport properties of this material.

  11. Minority carrier blocking to enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit in narrow-band-gap semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Shakouri, Ali

    2016-04-01

    We present detailed theoretical predictions on the enhancement of the thermoelectric figure of merit by minority carrier blocking with heterostructure barriers in bulk narrow-band-gap semiconductors. Bipolar carrier transport, which is often significant in a narrow-band-gap material, is detrimental to the thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency as it suppresses the Seebeck coefficient and increases the thermal conductivity. When the minority carriers are selectively prevented from participating in conduction while the transport of majority carriers is relatively unaffected by one-sided heterobarriers, the thermoelectric figure of merit can be drastically enhanced. Thermoelectric transport properties such as Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and electronic thermal conductivity including the bipolar term are calculated with and without the barriers based on the near-equilibrium Boltzmann transport equations under the relaxation time approximation to investigate the effects of minority carrier barriers on the thermoelectric figure of merit. For this, we provide details of carrier transport modeling and fitting results of experimental data for three important material systems, B i2T e3 -based alloys, M g2S i1 -xS nx , and S i1 -xG ex , that represent, respectively, near-room-temperature (300 K-500 K), midtemperature (600 K-900 K), and high-temperature (>1000 K ) applications. Theoretical maximum enhancement of thermoelectric figure of merit that can be achieved by minority carrier blocking is quantified and discussed for each of these semiconductors.

  12. High Thermoelectric Performance by Convergence of Bands in IV-VI Semiconductors, Heavily Doped PbTe, and Alloys/Nanocomposites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Pei, Yanzhong (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    The present invention teaches an effective mechanism for enhancing thermoelectric performance through additional conductive bands. Using heavily doped p-PbTe materials as an example, a quantitative explanation is disclosed, as to why and how these additional bands affect the figure of merit. A high zT of approaching 2 at high temperatures makes these simple, likely more stable (than nanostructured materials) and Tl-free materials excellent for thermoelectric applications.

  13. Ultrahigh-Power-Factor Carbon Nanotubes and an Ingenious Strategy for Thermoelectric Performance Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wenbin; Fan, Qingxia; Zhang, Qiang; Li, Kewei; Cai, Le; Gu, Xiaogang; Yang, Feng; Zhang, Nan; Xiao, Zhuojian; Chen, Huiliang; Xiao, Shiqi; Wang, Yanchun; Liu, Huaping; Zhou, Weiya; Xie, Sishen

    2016-07-01

    An ingenious strategy is put forward to evaluate accurately the thermoelectric performance of carbon nanotube (CNT) thin films, including thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient in the same direction. The results reveal that the as-prepared CNT interconnected films and CNT fibers possess enormous potential of thermoelectric applications because of their ultrahigh power factors. PMID:27199099

  14. Numerical Examination of the Performance of a Thermoelectric Cooler with Peltier Heating and Cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chang Nyung; Kim, Jeongho

    2015-10-01

    There has recently been much progress in the development of materials with higher thermoelectric performance, leading to the design of thermoelectric devices for generation of electricity and for heating or cooling. Local heating can be achieved by current flow through an electric resistance, and local heating and cooling can be performed by Peltier heating and cooling. In this study, we developed computer software that can be used to predict the Seebeck and Peltier effects for thermoelectric devices. The temperature, electric potential, heat flow, electric current, and coefficient of performance were determined, with the objective of investigating the Peltier effect in a thermoelectric device. In addition to Peltier heating and cooling, Joule and Thomson heating were quantitatively evaluated for the thermoelectric device.

  15. Enhanced thermoelectric power in two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Jiang; Kanahashi, Kaito; Cuong, Nguyen Thanh; Chen, Chang-Hsiao; Li, Lain-Jong; Okada, Susumu; Ohta, Hiromichi; Takenobu, Taishi

    2016-07-01

    The carrier-density-dependent conductance and thermoelectric properties of large-area Mo S2 and WS e2 monolayers are simultaneously investigated using the electrolyte gating method. The sign of the thermoelectric power changes across the transistor off-state in the ambipolar WS e2 transistor as the majority carrier density switches from electron to hole. The thermopower and thermoelectric power factor of monolayer samples are one order of magnitude larger than that of bulk materials, and their carrier-density dependences exhibit a quantitative agreement with the semiclassical Mott relation based on the two-dimensional energy band structure, concluding the thermoelectric properties are enhanced by the low-dimensional effect.

  16. Thermoelectric performance of strongly correlated quantum impurity models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Edward; Segal, Dvira

    2015-09-01

    We derive asymptotically exact expressions for the thermopower and figure of merit of a quantum impurity connecting two noninteracting leads in the linear response regime where the chemical potential and temperature differences between the leads are small. Based on sum rules for the single-particle impurity spectral function, these expressions become exact at high temperatures as well as in the very strongly correlated regime, where the impurity Coulomb repulsion is much larger than the temperature. Although modest interactions impede thermoelectric performance, a very large Coulomb scale restores the optimal transport properties of noninteracting electrons, albeit renormalized to account for the absence of double occupancy in the impurity. As with noninteracting electrons, the electronic contribution to the figure of merit is limited only by the spectral broadening that arises from the coupling between the impurity and the leads.

  17. High-performance and flexible thermoelectric films by screen printing solution-processed nanoplate crystals.

    PubMed

    Varghese, Tony; Hollar, Courtney; Richardson, Joseph; Kempf, Nicholas; Han, Chao; Gamarachchi, Pasindu; Estrada, David; Mehta, Rutvik J; Zhang, Yanliang

    2016-01-01

    Screen printing allows for direct conversion of thermoelectric nanocrystals into flexible energy harvesters and coolers. However, obtaining flexible thermoelectric materials with high figure of merit ZT through printing is an exacting challenge due to the difficulties to synthesize high-performance thermoelectric inks and the poor density and electrical conductivity of the printed films. Here, we demonstrate high-performance flexible films and devices by screen printing bismuth telluride based nanocrystal inks synthesized using a microwave-stimulated wet-chemical method. Thermoelectric films of several tens of microns thickness were screen printed onto a flexible polyimide substrate followed by cold compaction and sintering. The n-type films demonstrate a peak ZT of 0.43 along with superior flexibility, which is among the highest reported ZT values in flexible thermoelectric materials. A flexible thermoelectric device fabricated using the printed films produces a high power density of 4.1 mW/cm(2) with 60 °C temperature difference between the hot side and cold side. The highly scalable and low cost process to fabricate flexible thermoelectric materials and devices demonstrated here opens up many opportunities to transform thermoelectric energy harvesting and cooling applications. PMID:27615036

  18. Enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit in thin GaAs nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Xiaolong; Chen, Xiaobin; Huang, Huaqing; Xu, Yong; Duan, Wenhui

    2015-05-01

    Combining density functional theory and the nonequilibrium Green's function method, we investigate the thermoelectric properties of thin GaAs nanowires (NWs). After identifying the most stable structures for GaAs NWs, either in wurtzite (wz) or zinc blende (zb) stacking, we present a systematic analysis on the thermoelectric properties of these NWs and their dependence on stacking type (wz or zb), size of NWs, and temperature. Although bulk GaAs is a well-known poor thermoelectric material, the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is significantly enhanced in thin GaAs NWs. Typically, the room temperature ZT of a 1.1 nm-diameter GaAs NW reaches as high as 1.34, exhibiting more than 100-fold improvement over the bulk counterpart, which is attributed to both the reduced thermal conduction and enhanced power factor in thin NWs. Adopting their unique electronic characteristics, further enhancement is possible through surface engineering, for example, the introduction of surface roughness or dopants.Combining density functional theory and the nonequilibrium Green's function method, we investigate the thermoelectric properties of thin GaAs nanowires (NWs). After identifying the most stable structures for GaAs NWs, either in wurtzite (wz) or zinc blende (zb) stacking, we present a systematic analysis on the thermoelectric properties of these NWs and their dependence on stacking type (wz or zb), size of NWs, and temperature. Although bulk GaAs is a well-known poor thermoelectric material, the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is significantly enhanced in thin GaAs NWs. Typically, the room temperature ZT of a 1.1 nm-diameter GaAs NW reaches as high as 1.34, exhibiting more than 100-fold improvement over the bulk counterpart, which is attributed to both the reduced thermal conduction and enhanced power factor in thin NWs. Adopting their unique electronic characteristics, further enhancement is possible through surface engineering, for example, the introduction of surface

  19. Advanced thermoelectric materials with enhanced crystal lattice structure and methods of preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry F. (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alexander (Inventor)

    1998-01-01

    New skutterudite phases including Ru.sub.0.5 Pd.sub.0.5 Sb.sub.3, RuSb.sub.2 Te, and FeSb.sub.2 Te, have been prepared having desirable thermoelectric properties. In addition, a novel thermoelectric device has been prepared using skutterudite phase Fe.sub.0.5 Ni.sub.0.5 Sb.sub.3. The skutterudite-type crystal lattice structure of these semiconductor compounds and their enhanced thermoelectric properties results in semiconductor materials which may be used in the fabrication of thermoelectric elements to substantially improve the efficiency of the resulting thermoelectric device. Semiconductor materials having the desired skutterudite-type crystal lattice structure may be prepared in accordance with the present invention by using powder metallurgy techniques. Measurements of electrical and thermal transport properties of selected semiconductor materials prepared in accordance with the present invention, demonstrated high Hall mobilities and good Seebeck coefficients. These materials have low thermal conductivity and relatively low electrical resistivity, and are good candidates for low temperature thermoelectric applications.

  20. Numerical and Experimental Investigation for Heat Transfer Enhancement by Dimpled Surface Heat Exchanger in Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yiping; Li, Shuai; Yang, Xue; Deng, Yadong; Su, Chuqi

    2016-03-01

    For vehicle thermoelectric exhaust energy recovery, the temperature difference between the heat exchanger and the coolant has a strong influence on the electric power generation, and ribs are often employed to enhance the heat transfer of the heat exchanger. However, the introduction of ribs will result in a large unwanted pressure drop in the exhaust system which is unfavorable for the engine's efficiency. Therefore, how to enhance the heat transfer and control the pressure drop in the exhaust system is quite important for thermoelectric generators (TEG). In the current study, a symmetrical arrangement of dimpled surfaces staggered in the upper and lower surfaces of the heat exchanger was proposed to augment heat transfer rates with minimal pressure drop penalties. The turbulent flow characteristics and heat transfer performance of turbulent flow over the dimpled surface in a flat heat exchanger was investigated by numerical simulation and temperature measurements. The heat transfer capacity in terms of Nusselt number and the pressure loss in terms of Fanning friction factors of the exchanger were compared with those of the flat plate. The pressure loss and heat transfer characteristics of dimples with a depth-to-diameter ratio ( h/D) at 0.2 were investigated. Finally, a quite good heat transfer performance with minimal pressure drop heat exchanger in a vehicle TEG was obtained. And based on the area-averaged surface temperature of the heat exchanger and the Seeback effect, the power generation can be improved by about 15% at Re = 25,000 compared to a heat exchanger with a flat surface.

  1. Phase transition enhanced thermoelectric figure-of-merit in copper chalcogenides

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, David R.; Day, Tristan; Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Borup, Kasper A.; Christensen, Sebastian; Iversen, Bo B.

    2013-11-01

    While thermoelectric materials can be used for solid state cooling, waste heat recovery, and solar electricity generation, low values of the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT, have led to an efficiency too low for widespread use. Thermoelectric effects are characterized by the Seebeck coefficient or thermopower, which is related to the entropy associated with charge transport. For example, coupling spin entropy with the presence of charge carriers has enabled the enhancement of zT in cobalt oxides. We demonstrate that the coupling of a continuous phase transition to carrier transport in Cu{sub 2}Se over a broad (360–410 K) temperature range results in a dramatic peak in thermopower, an increase in phonon and electron scattering, and a corresponding doubling of zT (to 0.7 at 406 K), and a similar but larger increase over a wider temperature range in the zT of Cu{sub 1.97}Ag{sub .03}Se (almost 1.0 at 400 K). The use of structural entropy for enhanced thermopower could lead to new engineering approaches for thermoelectric materials with high zT and new green applications for thermoelectrics.

  2. Modified silicon-germanium alloys with improved performance. [thermoelectric material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisharody, R. K.; Garvey, L. P.

    1978-01-01

    This paper discusses the results of a program on the modification of silicon-germanium alloys by means of small extraneous material additions in order to improve their figures-of-merit. A review of the properties that constitute the figure-of-merit indicates that it is the relatively high thermal conductivity of silicon-germanium alloys that is responsible for their low values of figure-of-merit. The intent of the effort discussed in this paper is therefore the reduction of the thermal conductivity of silicon-germanium alloys by minor alloy additions and/or changes in the basic structure of the material. Because Group III and V elements are compatible with silicon and germanium, the present effort in modifying silicon-germanium alloys has concentrated on additions of gallium phosphide. A significant reduction in thermal conductivity, approximately 40 to 50 percent, has been demonstrated while the electrical properties are only slightly affected as a result. The figure-of-merit of the resultant material is enhanced over that of silicon-germanium alloys and when fully optimized is potentially better than that of any other presently available thermoelectric material.

  3. Enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit in strained Tl-doped Bi{sub 2}Se{sub 3}

    SciTech Connect

    Saeed, Y.; Singh, N.; Schwingenschlögl, U.

    2014-07-21

    We explain recent experimental findings on Tl-doped Bi{sub 2}Se{sub 3} by determining the electronic and transport properties by first-principles calculations and semi-classical Boltzmann theory. Though Tl-doping introduces a momentum-dependent spin-orbit splitting, the effective mass of the carriers is essentially not modified, while the band gap is reduced. Tl is found to be exceptional in this respect as other dopants modify the dispersion, which compromises thermoelectricity. Moreover, we demonstrate that only after Tl-doping strain becomes an efficient tool for enhancing the thermoelectric performance. A high figure of merit of 0.86 is obtained for strong p-doping (7 × 10{sup 20} cm{sup −3}, maximal power factor) at 500 K under 2% tensile strain.

  4. High-performance thermoelectric nanocomposites from nanocrystal building blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibáñez, Maria; Luo, Zhishan; Genç, Aziz; Piveteau, Laura; Ortega, Silvia; Cadavid, Doris; Dobrozhan, Oleksandr; Liu, Yu; Nachtegaal, Maarten; Zebarjadi, Mona; Arbiol, Jordi; Kovalenko, Maksym V.; Cabot, Andreu

    2016-03-01

    The efficient conversion between thermal and electrical energy by means of durable, silent and scalable solid-state thermoelectric devices has been a long standing goal. While nanocrystalline materials have already led to substantially higher thermoelectric efficiencies, further improvements are expected to arise from precise chemical engineering of nanoscale building blocks and interfaces. Here we present a simple and versatile bottom-up strategy based on the assembly of colloidal nanocrystals to produce consolidated yet nanostructured thermoelectric materials. In the case study on the PbS-Ag system, Ag nanodomains not only contribute to block phonon propagation, but also provide electrons to the PbS host semiconductor and reduce the PbS intergrain energy barriers for charge transport. Thus, PbS-Ag nanocomposites exhibit reduced thermal conductivities and higher charge carrier concentrations and mobilities than PbS nanomaterial. Such improvements of the material transport properties provide thermoelectric figures of merit up to 1.7 at 850 K.

  5. Investigation of the photovoltaic cell/ thermoelectric element hybrid system performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotfas, D. T.; Cotfas, P. A.; Machidon, O. M.; Ciobanu, D.

    2016-06-01

    The PV/TEG hybrid system, consisting of the photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric element, is presented in the paper. The dependence of the PV/TEG hybrid system parameters on the illumination levels and the temperature is analysed. The maxim power values of the photovoltaic cell, of the thermoelectric element and of the PV/TEG system are calculated and a comparison between them is presented and analysed. An economic analysis is also presented.

  6. Thermoelectric Signal Enhancement by Reconciling the Spin Seebeck and Anomalous Nernst Effects in Ferromagnet/Non-magnet Multilayers

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyeong-Dong; Kim, Dong-Jun; Yeon Lee, Hae; Kim, Seung-Hyun; Lee, Jong-Hyun; Lee, Kyung-Min; Jeong, Jong-Ryul; Lee, Ki-Suk; Song, Hyon-Seok; Sohn, Jeong-Woo; Shin, Sung-Chul; Park, Byong-Guk

    2015-01-01

    The utilization of ferromagnetic (FM) materials in thermoelectric devices allows one to have a simpler structure and/or independent control of electric and thermal conductivities, which may further remove obstacles for this technology to be realized. The thermoelectricity in FM/non-magnet (NM) heterostructures using an optical heating source is studied as a function of NM materials and a number of multilayers. It is observed that the overall thermoelectric signal in those structures which is contributed by spin Seebeck effect and anomalous Nernst effect (ANE) is enhanced by a proper selection of NM materials with a spin Hall angle that matches to the sign of the ANE. Moreover, by an increase of the number of multilayer, the thermoelectric voltage is enlarged further and the device resistance is reduced, simultaneously. The experimental observation of the improvement of thermoelectric properties may pave the way for the realization of magnetic-(or spin-) based thermoelectric devices. PMID:26020492

  7. Thermoelectric Signal Enhancement by Reconciling the Spin Seebeck and Anomalous Nernst Effects in Ferromagnet/Non-magnet Multilayers.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyeong-Dong; Kim, Dong-Jun; Yeon Lee, Hae; Kim, Seung-Hyun; Lee, Jong-Hyun; Lee, Kyung-Min; Jeong, Jong-Ryul; Lee, Ki-Suk; Song, Hyon-Seok; Sohn, Jeong-Woo; Shin, Sung-Chul; Park, Byong-Guk

    2015-01-01

    The utilization of ferromagnetic (FM) materials in thermoelectric devices allows one to have a simpler structure and/or independent control of electric and thermal conductivities, which may further remove obstacles for this technology to be realized. The thermoelectricity in FM/non-magnet (NM) heterostructures using an optical heating source is studied as a function of NM materials and a number of multilayers. It is observed that the overall thermoelectric signal in those structures which is contributed by spin Seebeck effect and anomalous Nernst effect (ANE) is enhanced by a proper selection of NM materials with a spin Hall angle that matches to the sign of the ANE. Moreover, by an increase of the number of multilayer, the thermoelectric voltage is enlarged further and the device resistance is reduced, simultaneously. The experimental observation of the improvement of thermoelectric properties may pave the way for the realization of magnetic-(or spin-) based thermoelectric devices. PMID:26020492

  8. Enhancement of thermoelectric performance in n-type PbTe1-ySey by doping Cr and tuning Te:Se ratio

    SciTech Connect

    Chere, Eyob K.; Zhang, Qian; McEnaney, Kenneth; Yao, Mengliang; Cao, Feng; Sun, Jingying; Chen, Shuo; Opeil, Cyril; Chen, Gang; Ren, Zhifeng

    2015-04-01

    Lead telluride and its alloys have been extensively studied for medium temperature thermoelectric applications due to decent figure-of-merit (ZT) at temperature close to 900 K. However, little emphasis has been given to improve the ZT near room temperature. In this investigation, we report a systematic study of Cr doping in PbTe1-ySey with y=0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 0.85, and 1. We found the peak ZT temperature increased with increasing concentration of Se. The highest ZT of ~0.6 at room temperature in Te-rich Cr0.015Pb0.985Te0.75Se0.25 was obtained due to a lowered thermal conductivity and enhanced power factor resulted from high Seebeck coefficient of about -220 µV K-1 and high Hall mobility ~1120 cm2 V-1 s-1 at room temperature. A room temperature ZT of ~0.5 and peak ZT of ~1 at about 573–673 K is shown by Se-rich sample Cr0.01Pb0.99Te0.25Se0.75. This improvement of the room temperature ZTimproved the average ZT over a wide temperature range and could potentially lead to a single leg efficiency of thermoelectric conversion for Te-rich Cr0.015Pb0.985Te0.75Se0.25 up to ~11% and Se-rich Cr0.01Pb0.99Te0.25Se0.75 up to ~13% with cold side and hot side temperature at 300 K and 873 K, respectively, if matched with appropriate p-type legs.

  9. Thermoelectric efficiency of (1 - x)(GeTe) x(Bi2Se0.2Te2.8) and implementation into highly performing thermoelectric power generators.

    PubMed

    Koenig, J; Winkler, M; Dankwort, T; Hansen, A-L; Pernau, H-F; Duppel, V; Jaegle, M; Bartholomé, K; Kienle, L; Bensch, W

    2015-02-14

    Here we report for the first time on a complete simulation assisted "material to module" development of a high performance thermoelectric generator (TEG) based on the combination of a phase change material and established thermoelectrics yielding the compositions (1 - x)(GeTe) x(Bi(2)Se(0.2)Te(2.8)). For the generator design our approach for benchmarking thermoelectric materials is demonstrated which is not restricted to the determination of the intrinsically imprecise ZT value but includes the implementation of the material into a TEG. This approach is enabling a much more reliable benchmarking of thermoelectric materials for TEG application. Furthermore we analyzed the microstructure and performance close to in-operandi conditions for two different compositions in order to demonstrate the sensitivity of the material against processing and thermal cycling. For x = 0.038 the microstructure of the as-prepared material remains unchanged, consequently, excellent and stable thermoelectric performance as prerequisites for TEG production was obtained. For x = 0.063 we observed strain phenomena for the pristine state which are released by the formation of planar defects after thermal cycling. Consequently the thermoelectric performance degrades significantly. These findings highlight a complication for deriving the correlation of microstructure and properties of thermoelectric materials in general. PMID:25559337

  10. Nanograin-enhanced in-plane thermoelectric figure of merit in n-type SiGe thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Jianbiao; Guo, Ruiqiang; Huang, Baoling

    2016-04-01

    SiGe thin films are desirable candidates for many thermoelectric applications because of their low cost, low toxicity, and high compatibility with microelectronics fabrications. Currently, their applications are limited by their very poor thermoelectric performance. In this study, phosphorus-doped SiGe thin films with improved thermoelectric properties were grown using low pressure chemical vapor deposition, and the effects of different annealing treatments, doping concentration, composition, and temperature on their thermoelectric properties were explored. It is found that the segregation of phosphorus dopants plays an important role in grain growth and thermoelectric transport properties. The improved thermoelectric performance is mainly attributed to the significantly reduced in-plane thermal conductivity by the naturally formed nanograins. By adjusting the growth conditions, doping and post treatments, an in-plane ZT ˜ 0.16 at 300 K was obtained for the optimized n-type samples, which is even ˜50% higher than the record of bulk SiGe.

  11. Novel methodology to determine thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials and comparison with device performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddux, Jay R.; Taylor, Patrick J.

    2012-06-01

    Accuracy of thermal conductivity measurements is an ongoing area of controversy in thermoelectric materials development. In this work, we demonstrate a novel steady-state method for characterizing thermal conductivity of bulk materials and devices under isothermal and near-isothermal conditions. The isothermal condition is achieved by exactly balancing Peltier heat flow against an externally imposed heat flow in the material. Under steady-state, isothermal conditions, heat flow in the material can be determined with high accuracy because external parasitic heat flows become negligible. We compare our results with conventional measurement techniques and also with measured thermoelectric device performance. Agreement between predicted and measured thermoelectric cooler performance is within 2%. Results for thermoelectric power generators will also be discussed.

  12. Semimetal/semiconductor nanocomposites for thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Lu, Hong; Burke, Peter G; Gossard, Arthur C; Zeng, Gehong; Ramu, Ashok T; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Bowers, John E

    2011-05-24

    In this work, we present research on semimetal-semiconductor nanocomposites grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for thermoelectric applications. We study several different III-V semiconductors embedded with semimetallic rare earth-group V (RE-V) compounds, but focus is given here to ErSb:In(x)Ga(1−x)Sb as a promising p-type thermoelectric material. Nanostructures of RE-V compounds are formed and embedded within the III-V semiconductor matrix. By co-doping the nanocomposites with the appropriate dopants, both n-type and p-type materials have been made for thermoelectric applications. The thermoelectric properties have been engineered for enhanced thermoelectric device performance. Segmented thermoelectric power generator modules using 50 μ m thick Er-containing nanocomposites have been fabricated and measured. Research on different rare earth elements for thermoelectrics is discussed. PMID:21751469

  13. Semimetal/Semiconductor Nanocomposites for Thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Hong; Burke, Peter G.; Gossard, Arthur C.; Zeng, Gehong; Ramu, Ashok T.; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Bowers, John E.

    2011-04-15

    In this work, we present research on semimetal-semiconductor nanocomposites grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for thermoelectric applications. We study several different III-V semiconductors embedded with semimetallic rare earth-group V (RE-V) compounds, but focus is given here to ErSb:InxGa1-xSb as a promising p-type thermoelectric material. Nano­structures of RE-V compounds are formed and embedded within the III-V semiconductor matrix. By codoping the nanocomposites with the appropriate dopants, both n-type and p-type materials have been made for thermoelectric applications. The thermoelectric properties have been engineered for enhanced thermoelectric device performance. Segmented thermoelectric power generator modules using 50 μm thick Er-containing nanocomposites have been fabricated and measured. Research on different rare earth elements for thermoelectrics is discussed.

  14. Thermoelectric power factor performance of Bi85Sb15/graphene composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Asfoury, Mohamed S.; Nasr, Mohamed N. A.; Nakamura, Koichi; Abdel-Moneim, Ahmed

    2016-04-01

    Composite materials based on Bi85Sb15 with commercial graphene (Gr) nanoparticles have been synthesized by mechanical alloying and hot isostatic pressing. The effect of different amount of Gr nanoparticles (x = 0.02, 0.04, 0.06, and 0.08 wt %) on the thermoelectric properties of (Bi85Sb15)1- x Gr x composite was investigated. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy were carried out for the structure characterization of the composites. Transport properties, including electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient, and calculated power factor, were investigated and their variations were discussed with regard to microstructures in the temperature range of 173-373 K. Resistivity significantly declines in the sample with x = 0.04 wt % Gr, and the enhancement was 7% at 230 K and reached about 7.6% at room temperature. With 0.08 wt % Gr, a high absolute value of the Seebeck coefficient was observed. The power factor reaches its maximum of 3.7 × 10-3 W·m-1·K-2 with x = 0.08 wt % at 173 K. The results reflect that this synthesis process can be a powerful method of obtaining homogeneous Bi-Sb thermoelectric composite materials rapidly and at low cost. In addition, the demand for uniform coherent composites was significant because of their high-performance transport properties.

  15. Heterogeneous in-situ nanostructure contributes to the thermoelectric performance of Zn{sub 4}Sb{sub 3}

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Jianping; Ma, Lingzhi; Yang, Baifeng; Fei, Youjian; Lei, Lei; Qiao, Guanjun; Ren, Yang

    2013-04-22

    Single-phase Zn{sub 4}Sb{sub 3} and ZnSb-containing samples were prepared by Plasma Activated Sintering. An abrupt decrease of thermal conductivity was found at about 400 K, which is attributed to the microstructure change of Zn{sub 4}Sb{sub 3}. Nanoscale inclusions and compositional inhomogeneities were found in Zn{sub 4}Sb{sub 3} sample at 473 K by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The phonon scattering is enhanced by increasing grain boundaries and chaotic structure, which reduces the thermal conductivity and increases the thermoelectric performance of Zn{sub 4}Sb{sub 3} at elevated temperature. The Rietveld refinement results show that large ZnSb grains in ZnSb-containing samples will accommodate excess Zn atoms, and then reduce thermoelectric performance.

  16. Life Testing of Yb14MnSb11 for High Performance Thermoelectric Couples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah; Brandon, Erik; Caillat, Thierry; Ewell, Richard; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study is to verify the long term stability of Yb14MnSb11 for high performance thermoelectric (TE) couples. Three main requirements need to be satisfied to ensure the long term stability of thermoelectric couples: 1) stable thermoelectric properties, 2) stable bonding interfaces, and 3) adequate sublimation suppression. The efficiency of the couple is primarily based on the thermoelectric properties of the materials selected for the couple. Therefore, these TE properties should exhibit minimal degradation during the operating period of the thermoelectric couples. The stability of the bonding is quantified by low contact resistances of the couple interfaces. In order to ensure high efficiency, the contact resistances of the bonding interfaces should be negligible. Sublimation suppression is important because the majority of thermoelectric materials used for power generation have peak figures of merit at temperatures where sublimation rates are high. Controlling sublimation is also essential to preserve the efficiency of the couple. During the course of this research, three different life tests were performed with Yb14MnSb11 coupons. TE properties of Yb14MnSb11 exhibited no degradation after 6 months of aging at 1273K, and the electrical contact resistance between a thin metallization layer and the Yb14MnSb11 remained negligible after 1500hr aging at 1273K. A sublimation suppression layer for Yb14MnSb11 was developed and demonstrated for more than 18 months with coupon testing at 1273K. These life test data indicate that thermoelectric elements based on Yb14MnSb11 are a promising technology for use in future high performance thermoelectric power generating couples.

  17. Performance testing of thermoelectric generators at JPL. [for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouklove, P.; Truscello, V. C.

    1975-01-01

    Several thermoelectric generators, ranging in output power from 170 watts to microwatts, are undergoing testing at JPL. They represent a wide range of technologies using advanced PbTe, SiGe and cascaded PbTe and BiTe thermoelectric materials. Several of these generators are of an advanced concept while others are representative of the Nimbus, Transit, Viking and the multi-hundred-watt (MHW) technology. Of interest is the behavior of generators which have been tested for times in excess of 60,000 hours.

  18. Cooling performance of solar cell-driven, thermoelectric cooling prototype headgear

    SciTech Connect

    Hara, T.; Obora, H.; Sato, S.

    1998-07-01

    Cooling performance of solar cell driven, thermoelectric cooling prototype headgear was examined experimentally. Three types of prototype headgear were made and examined. They were cooled by thermoelectric elements and driven by solar cells. The authors are always able to be cooled anytime and anywhere inside the house in hot season. However, they were not able to be cooled when they worked outside the house. Especially, a personal air-conditioning system is required for the people working outside. Some cooling caps with an electric fan driven by solar cells can be often seen now. However, the fan only blows hot air to the face. They cannot cool down the face below the ambient temperature. The authors tried to cool down the face to the lower temperature below the ambient by a refrigeration system. A thermoelectric element was set at the front of a headgear such as baseball cap or straw hat to cool a forehead. Some pieces of solar cells were mounted on the top and the brim of the headgear to work the thermoelectric element. Hot side of thermoelectric element was cooled by a plate fin an electric fan. The electric fan was also driven by a solar cell. Two types of baseball caps with solar cells and a thermoelectric element and a type of straw hat with them were made and tested. Solar cells were connected to optimize the electric power for the thermoelectric element. An electric fan and its power input were selected to cool maximum the thermoelectric element. Cooling performance and thermal comfort of the headgear were examined by testers in case of sitting, walking and bicycling. The temperature difference between ambient and cooling temperature was required only about 4 degree Celsius. Required power by solar cells was up to about 1.5 watt for a personal cooling.

  19. Improved Thermoelectric Performances of SrTiO3 Ceramic Doped with Nb by Surface Modification of Nanosized Titania.

    PubMed

    Li, Enzhu; Wang, Ning; He, Hongcai; Chen, Haijun

    2016-12-01

    Nb-doped SrTiO3 ceramics doped with the surface modification of nanosized titania was prepared via liquid phase deposition approach and subsequent sintered in an Ar atmosphere. The surface modification of nanosized titania significantly improved the ratio of the electrical conductivity to thermal conductivity of SrTiO3 ceramic doped with Nb, and has little impact on the Seebeck coefficient, thus obviously improving the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT value). The surface modification of nanosized titania is a much better method to lower the thermal conductivity and to enhance the electrical conductivity than the mechanical mixing process of nanosized titania. The highest ZT value of 0.33 at 900 K was obtained. The reason for the improved thermoelectric performances by the surface modification of nano-sized titania was preliminary investigated. PMID:27067736

  20. Improved Thermoelectric Performances of SrTiO3 Ceramic Doped with Nb by Surface Modification of Nanosized Titania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Enzhu; Wang, Ning; He, Hongcai; Chen, Haijun

    2016-04-01

    Nb-doped SrTiO3 ceramics doped with the surface modification of nanosized titania was prepared via liquid phase deposition approach and subsequent sintered in an Ar atmosphere. The surface modification of nanosized titania significantly improved the ratio of the electrical conductivity to thermal conductivity of SrTiO3 ceramic doped with Nb, and has little impact on the Seebeck coefficient, thus obviously improving the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit ( ZT value). The surface modification of nanosized titania is a much better method to lower the thermal conductivity and to enhance the electrical conductivity than the mechanical mixing process of nanosized titania. The highest ZT value of 0.33 at 900 K was obtained. The reason for the improved thermoelectric performances by the surface modification of nano-sized titania was preliminary investigated.

  1. Tuning the carrier concentration to improve the thermoelectric performance of CuInTe{sub 2} compound

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, J.; Liu, H. J. Cheng, L.; Zhang, J.; Liang, J. H.; Jiang, P. H.; Fan, D. D.; Shi, J.

    2015-10-15

    The electronic and transport properties of CuInTe{sub 2} chalcopyrite are investigated using density functional calculations combined with Boltzmann theory. The band gap predicted from hybrid functional is 0.92 eV, which agrees well with experimental data and leads to relatively larger Seebeck coefficient compared with those of narrow-gap thermoelectric materials. By fine tuning the carrier concentration, the electrical conductivity and power factor of the system can be significantly optimized. Together with the inherent low thermal conductivity, the ZT values of CuInTe{sub 2} compound can be enhanced to as high as 1.72 at 850 K, which is obviously larger than those measured experimentally and suggests there is still room to improve the thermoelectric performance of this chalcopyrite compound.

  2. High-performance thermoelectric nanocomposites from nanocrystal building blocks

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, Maria; Luo, Zhishan; Genç, Aziz; Piveteau, Laura; Ortega, Silvia; Cadavid, Doris; Dobrozhan, Oleksandr; Liu, Yu; Nachtegaal, Maarten; Zebarjadi, Mona; Arbiol, Jordi; Kovalenko, Maksym V.; Cabot, Andreu

    2016-01-01

    The efficient conversion between thermal and electrical energy by means of durable, silent and scalable solid-state thermoelectric devices has been a long standing goal. While nanocrystalline materials have already led to substantially higher thermoelectric efficiencies, further improvements are expected to arise from precise chemical engineering of nanoscale building blocks and interfaces. Here we present a simple and versatile bottom–up strategy based on the assembly of colloidal nanocrystals to produce consolidated yet nanostructured thermoelectric materials. In the case study on the PbS–Ag system, Ag nanodomains not only contribute to block phonon propagation, but also provide electrons to the PbS host semiconductor and reduce the PbS intergrain energy barriers for charge transport. Thus, PbS–Ag nanocomposites exhibit reduced thermal conductivities and higher charge carrier concentrations and mobilities than PbS nanomaterial. Such improvements of the material transport properties provide thermoelectric figures of merit up to 1.7 at 850 K. PMID:26948987

  3. Structurally-driven Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties within Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petsagkourakis, Ioannis; Pavlopoulou, Eleni; Portale, Giuseppe; Kuropatwa, Bryan A.; Dilhaire, Stefan; Fleury, Guillaume; Hadziioannou, Georges

    2016-07-01

    Due to the rising need for clean energy, thermoelectricity has raised as a potential alternative to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Specifically, thermoelectric devices based on polymers could offer an efficient path for near-room temperature energy harvesters. Thus, control over thermoelectric properties of conducting polymers is crucial and, herein, the structural, electrical and thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) thin films doped with p-toluenesulfonate (Tos) molecules were investigated with regards to thin film processing. PEDOT:Tos thin films were prepared by in-situ polymerization of (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) monomers in presence of iron(III) p-toluenesulfonate with different co-solvents in order to tune the film structure. While the Seebeck coefficient remained constant, a large improvement in the electrical conductivity was observed for thin films processed with high boiling point additives. The increase of electrical conductivity was found to be solely in-plane mobility-driven. Probing the thin film structure by Grazing Incidence Wide Angle X-ray Scattering has shown that this behavior is dictated by the structural properties of the PEDOT:Tos films; specifically by the thin film crystallinity combined to the preferential edge-on orientation of the PEDOT crystallites. Consequentially enhancement of the power factor from 25 to 78.5 μW/mK2 has been readily obtained for PEDOT:Tos thin films following this methodology.

  4. Structurally-driven Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties within Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) thin Films

    PubMed Central

    Petsagkourakis, Ioannis; Pavlopoulou, Eleni; Portale, Giuseppe; Kuropatwa, Bryan A.; Dilhaire, Stefan; Fleury, Guillaume; Hadziioannou, Georges

    2016-01-01

    Due to the rising need for clean energy, thermoelectricity has raised as a potential alternative to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Specifically, thermoelectric devices based on polymers could offer an efficient path for near-room temperature energy harvesters. Thus, control over thermoelectric properties of conducting polymers is crucial and, herein, the structural, electrical and thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) thin films doped with p-toluenesulfonate (Tos) molecules were investigated with regards to thin film processing. PEDOT:Tos thin films were prepared by in-situ polymerization of (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) monomers in presence of iron(III) p-toluenesulfonate with different co-solvents in order to tune the film structure. While the Seebeck coefficient remained constant, a large improvement in the electrical conductivity was observed for thin films processed with high boiling point additives. The increase of electrical conductivity was found to be solely in-plane mobility-driven. Probing the thin film structure by Grazing Incidence Wide Angle X-ray Scattering has shown that this behavior is dictated by the structural properties of the PEDOT:Tos films; specifically by the thin film crystallinity combined to the preferential edge-on orientation of the PEDOT crystallites. Consequentially enhancement of the power factor from 25 to 78.5 μW/mK2 has been readily obtained for PEDOT:Tos thin films following this methodology. PMID:27470637

  5. Significant enhancement in thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline Pr-doped SrTiO{sub 3−δ} ceramics originating from nonuniform distribution of Pr dopants

    SciTech Connect

    Dehkordi, Arash Mehdizadeh; Bhattacharya, Sriparna; He, Jian; Alshareef, Husam N.; Tritt, Terry M.

    2014-05-12

    Recently, we have reported a significant enhancement (>70% at 500 °C) in the thermoelectric power factor (PF) of bulk polycrystalline Pr-doped SrTiO{sub 3} ceramics employing a novel synthesis strategy which led to the highest ever reported values of PF among doped polycrystalline SrTiO{sub 3}. It was found that the formation of Pr-rich grain boundary regions gives rise to an enhancement in carrier mobility. In this Letter, we investigate the electronic and thermal transport in Sr{sub 1−x}Pr{sub x}TiO{sub 3} ceramics in order to determine the optimum doping concentration and to evaluate the overall thermoelectric performance. Simultaneous enhancement in the thermoelectric power factor and reduction in thermal conductivity in these samples resulted in more than 30% improvement in the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) for the whole temperature range over all previously reported maximum values. Maximum ZT value of 0.35 was obtained at 500 °C.

  6. Nanostructure Approach for High-performance Thermoelectrics, Photovoltaics, and Biosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Z. F.

    2011-04-01

    Nanomaterials have many potential applications in energy conversion systems due to their special structural and physical properties. Such applications often require materials manufacturing at large scale and low cost. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss the manufacturing of nanostructured bulk thermoelectric materials at large scale with improved thermoelectric properties. The materials were produced by a low cost ball milling and hot pressing process. The ball milling makes nanopowders in the quantities of up to multiple tons. Such nanopowders were then hot pressed by a direct current induced hot pressing into dense bulk materials. In the second part of this talk, I will demonstrate the concept and realization of nano coax cables that can be used for sub-wavelength light transmission and efficient solar conversion into electricity. In the last part of this talk, I will show a highly sensitive biosensor using aligned carbon nanotubes and gas sensors using nano coaxial cables.

  7. Convergence of valence bands for high thermoelectric performance for p-type InN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hai-Zhu; Li, Ruo-Ping; Liu, Jun-Hui; Huang, Ming-Ju

    2015-12-01

    Band engineering to converge the bands to achieve high valley degeneracy is one of effective approaches for designing ideal thermoelectric materials. Convergence of many valleys in the valence band may lead to a high Seebeck coefficient, and induce promising thermoelectric performance of p-type InN. In the current work, we have systematically investigated the electronic structure and thermoelectric performance of wurtzite InN by using the density functional theory combined with semiclassical Boltzmann transport theory. Form the results, it can be found that intrinsic InN has a large Seebeck coefficient (254 μV/K) and the largest value of ZeT is 0.77. The transport properties of p-type InN are better than that of n-type one at the optimum carrier concentration, which mainly due to the large Seebeck coefficient for p-type InN, although the electrical conductivity of n-type InN is larger than that of p-type one. We found that the larger Seebeck coefficient for p-type InN may originate from the large valley degeneracy in the valence band. Moreover, the low minimum lattice thermal conductivity for InN is one key factor to become a good thermoelectric material. Therefore, p-type InN could be a potential material for further applications in the thermoelectric area.

  8. Potential thermoelectric performance from optimization of hole-doped Bi2Se3

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, David S; Singh, David J

    2011-01-01

    We present an analysis of the potential thermoelectric performance of hole-doped Bi2Se3, which is commonly considered to show inferior room temperature performance when compared to Bi2Te3. We find that if the lattice thermal conductivity can be reduced by nanostructuring techniques (as have been applied to Bi2Te3) the material may show optimized ZT values of unity or more in the 300 - 500 K temperature range and thus be suitable for cooling and moderate temperature waste heat recovery and thermoelectric solar cell applications. Central to this conclusion are the larger band gap and the relatively heavier valence bands of Bi2Se3.

  9. Thermoelectric performance of restacked MoS2 nanosheets thin-film.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tongzhou; Liu, Congcong; Xu, Jingkun; Zhu, Zhengyou; Liu, Endou; Hu, Yongjing; Li, Changcun; Jiang, Fengxing

    2016-07-15

    MoS2 has been predicted to be an excellent thermoelectric material due to its large intrinsic band gap and high carrier mobility. In this work, we exfoliated bulk MoS2 by the assistance of lithium intercalation and fabricated the restacked MoS2 thin-film using a simple filtration technique. These MoS2 thin-films with different thickness showed different thermoelectric performance. It was found that with the increase of thickness, carrier concentration, electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient all showed an increasing trend. In particular, the maximum Seebeck coefficient was able to reach 93.5 μV K(-1). This high thermopower indicates that MoS2 will have ideal thermoelectric performance in the future through optimizing its structure. The highest figure of merit (ZT = 0.01) is calculated in this experiment. PMID:27256215

  10. Thermoelectric performance of restacked MoS2 nanosheets thin-film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tongzhou; Liu, Congcong; Xu, Jingkun; Zhu, Zhengyou; Liu, Endou; Hu, Yongjing; Li, Changcun; Jiang, Fengxing

    2016-07-01

    MoS2 has been predicted to be an excellent thermoelectric material due to its large intrinsic band gap and high carrier mobility. In this work, we exfoliated bulk MoS2 by the assistance of lithium intercalation and fabricated the restacked MoS2 thin-film using a simple filtration technique. These MoS2 thin-films with different thickness showed different thermoelectric performance. It was found that with the increase of thickness, carrier concentration, electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient all showed an increasing trend. In particular, the maximum Seebeck coefficient was able to reach 93.5 μV K‑1. This high thermopower indicates that MoS2 will have ideal thermoelectric performance in the future through optimizing its structure. The highest figure of merit (ZT = 0.01) is calculated in this experiment.

  11. Optimization of Filler Elements in CoSb3-Based Skutterudites for High-Performance n-Type Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsubara, M.; Asahi, R.

    2016-03-01

    To develop high-performance n-type thermoelectric materials, the optimum synthesis process and effective filler elements for partially filled skutterudites were investigated. For the composition R0.4B0.3Co4- y Fe y Sb12 (basic elemental group R0.4 = Ba0.1Yb0.2Al0.1) with filling factor x = 0.7, the ratio and combination of filler elements in B0.3 and Fe content y were optimized. First, from the viewpoint of ionic valence and ionic radius, we examined the combination of various filler elements and selected a combination of Al and Gd as filler elements in B0.3; these filler elements effectively reduced the thermal conductivity and enhanced the power factor of the skutterudites, respectively. However, these elements easily precipitated because of their low solubility, and the improved thermoelectric properties of skutterudites induced by Al and Gd were insufficient. The results revealed that the thermoelectric properties of the partially filled skutterudites were improved when such elemental precipitation was suppressed by substitution of the Al and Gd atoms with other elements with greater solubility limits. Furthermore, to compensate for the excess number of carriers introduced by filler addition, a portion of the Co sites were substituted with Fe, which resulted in an improved figure of merit ( ZT) value.

  12. Fabrication of Advanced Thermoelectric Materials by Hierarchical Nanovoid Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Sang Hyouk (Inventor); Park, Yeonjoon (Inventor); Chu, Sang-Hyon (Inventor); Elliott, James R. (Inventor); King, Glen C. (Inventor); Kim, Jae-Woo (Inventor); Lillehei, Peter T. (Inventor); Stoakley, Diane M. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A novel method to prepare an advanced thermoelectric material has hierarchical structures embedded with nanometer-sized voids which are key to enhancement of the thermoelectric performance. Solution-based thin film deposition technique enables preparation of stable film of thermoelectric material and void generator (voigen). A subsequent thermal process creates hierarchical nanovoid structure inside the thermoelectric material. Potential application areas of this advanced thermoelectric material with nanovoid structure are commercial applications (electronics cooling), medical and scientific applications (biological analysis device, medical imaging systems), telecommunications, and defense and military applications (night vision equipments).

  13. Narrow band gap and enhanced thermoelectricity in FeSb2.

    PubMed

    Sun, Peijie; Oeschler, Niels; Johnsen, Simon; Iversen, Bo B; Steglich, Frank

    2010-01-28

    FeSb(2) was recently identified as a narrow-gap semiconductor with indications of strong electron-electron correlations. In this manuscript, we report on systematic thermoelectric investigation of a number of FeSb(2) single crystals with varying carrier concentrations, together with two isoelectronically substituted FeSb(2-x)As(x) samples (x = 0.01 and 0.03) and two reference compounds FeAs(2) and RuSb(2). Typical behaviour associated with narrow bands and narrow gaps is only confirmed for the FeSb(2) and the FeSb(2-x)As(x) samples. The maximum absolute thermopower of FeSb(2) spans from 10 to 45 mV/K at around 10 K, greatly exceeding that of both FeAs(2) and RuSb(2). The relation between the carrier concentration and the maximum thermopower value is in approximate agreement with theoretical predictions of the electron-diffusion contribution which, however, requires an enhancement factor larger than 30. The isoelectronic substitution leads to a reduction of the thermal conductivity, but the charge-carrier mobility is also largely reduced due to doping-induced crystallographic defects or impurities. In combination with the high charge-carrier mobility and the enhanced thermoelectricity, FeSb(2) represents a promising candidate for thermoelectric cooling applications at cryogenic temperatures. PMID:20066185

  14. Performance Optimization of Two-Stage Exoreversible Thermoelectric Converter in Electrically Series and Parallel Configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hans, Ranjana; Manikandan, S.; Kaushik, S. C.

    2015-10-01

    A two-stage exoreversible semiconductor thermoelectric converter (TEC) with internal heat transfer is proposed in two different configurations, i.e., electrically series and electrically parallel. The TEC performance assuming Newton's heat transfer law is evaluated through a combination of finite-time thermodynamics (FTT) and nonequilibrium thermodynamics. A formulation based on the power output versus working electrical current and efficiency versus working electrical current is applied in this study. For fixed total number of thermoelectric elements, the current-voltage ( I- V) characteristics of the series and parallel configurations have been obtained for different combinations of thermoelectric elements in the top and bottom stage. The number of thermoelectric elements in the top stage has been optimized to maximize the power output of the TEC in the electrically series and parallel modes. Thermodynamic models for a multistage TEC system considering internal irreversibilities have been developed in a matrix laboratory Simulink environment. The effect of load resistance on V opt, I opt, V oc, and I sc for different combinations of thermoelectric elements in the top and bottom stage has been analyzed. The I- V characteristics obtained for the two-stage series and parallel TEC configurations suggest a range of load resistance values to be chosen, in turn indicating the suitability of the parallel rather than series configuration when designing real multistage TECs. This analysis will be helpful in designing actual multistage TECs.

  15. Peierls distortion as a route to high thermoelectric performance in In(4)Se(3-delta) crystals.

    PubMed

    Rhyee, Jong-Soo; Lee, Kyu Hyoung; Lee, Sang Mock; Cho, Eunseog; Kim, Sang Il; Lee, Eunsung; Kwon, Yong Seung; Shim, Ji Hoon; Kotliar, Gabriel

    2009-06-18

    Thermoelectric energy harvesting-the transformation of waste heat into useful electricity-is of great interest for energy sustainability. The main obstacle is the low thermoelectric efficiency of materials for converting heat to electricity, quantified by the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT. The best available n-type materials for use in mid-temperature (500-900 K) thermoelectric generators have a relatively low ZT of 1 or less, and so there is much interest in finding avenues for increasing this figure of merit. Here we report a binary crystalline n-type material, In(4)Se(3-delta), which achieves the ZT value of 1.48 at 705 K-very high for a bulk material. Using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and first-principles calculations, we demonstrate that this material supports a charge density wave instability which is responsible for the large anisotropy observed in the electric and thermal transport. The high ZT value is the result of the high Seebeck coefficient and the low thermal conductivity in the plane of the charge density wave. Our results suggest a new direction in the search for high-performance thermoelectric materials, exploiting intrinsic nanostructural bulk properties induced by charge density waves. PMID:19536260

  16. Thermoelectric performance of functionalized Sc2C MXenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Schwingenschlögl, U.

    2016-07-01

    Functionalization of the MXene Sc2C , which has the rare property to realize semiconducting states for various functionalizations including O, F, and OH, is studied with respect to the electronic and thermal behavior. The lowest lattice thermal conductivity is obtained for OH functionalization and an additional 30% decrease can be achieved by confining the phonon mean free path to 100 nm. Despite a relatively low Seebeck coefficient, Sc2C (OH) 2 is a candidate for intermediate-temperature thermoelectric applications due to compensation by a high electrical conductivity and very low lattice thermal conductivity.

  17. Thermoelectric performance of various benzo-difuran wires

    SciTech Connect

    Péterfalvi, Csaba G.; Grace, Iain; Manrique, Dávid Zs.; Lambert, Colin J.

    2014-05-07

    Using a first principles approach to electron transport, we calculate the electrical and thermoelectrical transport properties of a series of molecular wires containing benzo-difuran subunits. We demonstrate that the side groups introduce Fano resonances, the energy of which is changing with the electronegativity of selected atoms in it. We also study the relative effect of single, double, or triple bonds along the molecular backbone and find that single bonds yield the highest thermopower, approximately 22 μV/K at room temperature, which is comparable with the highest measured values for single-molecule thermopower reported to date.

  18. Evaluation of Temperature-Dependent Effective Material Properties and Performance of a Thermoelectric Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chien, Heng-Chieh; Chu, En-Ting; Hsieh, Huey-Lin; Huang, Jing-Yi; Wu, Sheng-Tsai; Dai, Ming-Ji; Liu, Chun-Kai; Yao, Da-Jeng

    2013-07-01

    We devised a novel method to evaluate the temperature-dependent effective properties of a thermoelectric module (TEM): Seebeck coefficient ( S m), internal electrical resistance ( R m), and thermal conductance ( K m). After calculation, the effective properties of the module are converted to the average material properties of a p- n thermoelectric pillar pair inside the module: Seebeck coefficient ( S TE), electrical resistivity ( ρ TE), and thermal conductivity ( k TE). For a commercial thermoelectric module (Altec 1091) chosen to verify the novel method, the measured S TE has a maximum value at bath temperature of 110°C; ρ TE shows a positive linear trend dependent on the bath temperature, and k TE increases slightly with increasing bath temperature. The results show the method to have satisfactory measurement performance in terms of practicability and reliability; the data for tests near 23°C agree with published values.

  19. Performance testing of thermoelectric generators including Voyager and LES 8/9 flight results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvey, L.; Stapfer, G.

    1979-01-01

    Several thermoelectric generators ranging in output power from 0.5 to 155 W have been completed or are undergoing testing at JPL. These generators represent a wide range of technologies, using Bi2Te3, PbTe and SiGe thermoelectric materials. Several of these generators are of a developmental type, such as HPG S/N2, and others are representative of Transit and Multi-Hundred Watt (MHW) Technology. Representative flight performance data of LES 8/9 and Voyager RTG's are presented and compared with the DEGRA computer program based on the data observed from tests of SiGe couples, modules and MHW generators.

  20. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perroni, C. A.; Ninno, D.; Cataudella, V.

    2016-09-01

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron–vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions.

  1. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Perroni, C A; Ninno, D; Cataudella, V

    2016-09-21

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron-vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions. PMID:27420149

  2. Flexible nanocrystal-coated glass fibers for high-performance thermoelectric energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Liang, Daxin; Yang, Haoran; Finefrock, Scott W; Wu, Yue

    2012-04-11

    Recent efforts on the development of nanostructured thermoelectric materials from nanowires (Boukai, A. I.; et al. Nature 2008, 451, (7175), 168-171; Hochbaum, A. I.; et al. Nature 2008, 451, (7175), 163-167) and nanocrystals (Kim, W.; et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2006, 96, (4), 045901; Poudel, B.; et al. Science 2008, 320, (5876), 634-638; Scheele, M.; et al. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2009, 19, (21), 3476-3483; Wang, R. Y.; et al. Nano Lett. 2008, 8, (8), 2283-2288) show the comparable or superior performance to the bulk crystals possessing the same chemical compositions because of the dramatically reduced thermal conductivity due to phonon scattering at nanoscale surface and interface. Up to date, the majority of the thermoelectric devices made from these inorganic nanostructures are fabricated into rigid configuration. The explorations of truly flexible composite-based flexible thermoelectric devices (See, K. C.; et al. Nano Lett. 2010, 10, (11), 4664-4667) have thus far achieved much less progress, which in principle could significantly benefit the conversion of waste heat into electricity or the solid-state cooling by applying the devices to any kind of objects with any kind of shapes. Here we report an example using a scalable solution-phase deposition method to coat thermoelectric nanocrystals onto the surface of flexible glass fibers. Our investigation of the thermoelectric properties yields high performance comparable to the state of the art from the bulk crystals and proof-of-concept demonstration also suggests the potential of wrapping the thermoelectric fibers on the industrial pipes to improve the energy efficiency. PMID:22409308

  3. Thermoelectrically cooled cloud physics expansion chamber. [systems engineering and performance prediction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buist, R. J.

    1977-01-01

    The design and fabrication of a thermoelectric chiller for use in chilling a liquid reservoir is described. Acceptance test results establish the accuracy of the thermal model and predict the unit performance under various conditions required by the overall spacelab program.

  4. Spin caloritronics with superconductors: Enhanced thermoelectric effects, generalized Onsager response-matrix, and thermal spin currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Jacob; Bathen, Marianne Etzelmüller

    2016-06-01

    It has recently been proposed and experimentally demonstrated that it is possible to generate large thermoelectric effects in ferromagnet/superconductor structures due to a spin-dependent particle-hole asymmetry. Here, we show theoretically that quasiparticle tunneling between two spin-split superconductors enhances the thermoelectric response manyfold compared to when only one such superconductor is used, generating Seebeck coefficients (S >1 mV/K) and figures of merit (Z T ≃40 ) far exceeding the best bulk thermoelectric materials, and it also becomes more resilient toward inelastic-scattering processes. We present a generalized Onsager response-matrix that takes into account spin-dependent voltage and temperature gradients. Moreover, we show that thermally induced spin currents created in such junctions, even in the absence of a polarized tunneling barrier, also become largest in the case in which spin-dependent particle-hole asymmetry exists on both sides of the barrier. We determine how these thermal spin-currents can be tuned both in magnitude and sign by several parameters, including the external field, the temperature, and the superconducting phase difference.

  5. How much improvement in thermoelectric performance can come from reducing thermal conductivity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaultois, Michael W.; Sparks, Taylor D.

    2014-03-01

    Large improvements in the performance of thermoelectric materials have come from designing materials with reduced thermal conductivity. Yet as the thermal conductivity of some materials now approaches their amorphous limit, it is unclear if microstructure engineering can further improve thermoelectric performance in these cases. In this contribution, we use large data sets to examine 300 compositions in 11 families of thermoelectric materials and present a type of plot that quickly reveals the maximum possible zT that can be achieved by reducing the thermal conductivity. This plot allows researchers to quickly distinguish materials where the thermal conductivity has been optimized from those where improvement can be made. Moreover, through these large data sets we examine structure-property relationships to identify methods that decrease thermal conductivity and improve thermoelectric performance. We validate, with the data, that increasing (i) the volume of a unit cell and/or (ii) the number of atoms in the unit cell decreases the thermal conductivity of many classes of materials, without changing the electrical resistivity.

  6. How much improvement in thermoelectric performance can come from reducing thermal conductivity?

    SciTech Connect

    Gaultois, Michael W.; Sparks, Taylor D.

    2014-03-17

    Large improvements in the performance of thermoelectric materials have come from designing materials with reduced thermal conductivity. Yet as the thermal conductivity of some materials now approaches their amorphous limit, it is unclear if microstructure engineering can further improve thermoelectric performance in these cases. In this contribution, we use large data sets to examine 300 compositions in 11 families of thermoelectric materials and present a type of plot that quickly reveals the maximum possible zT that can be achieved by reducing the thermal conductivity. This plot allows researchers to quickly distinguish materials where the thermal conductivity has been optimized from those where improvement can be made. Moreover, through these large data sets we examine structure-property relationships to identify methods that decrease thermal conductivity and improve thermoelectric performance. We validate, with the data, that increasing (i) the volume of a unit cell and/or (ii) the number of atoms in the unit cell decreases the thermal conductivity of many classes of materials, without changing the electrical resistivity.

  7. Rare earth-doped materials with enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit

    DOEpatents

    Venkatasubramanian, Rama; Cook, Bruce Allen; Levin, Evgenii M.; Harringa, Joel Lee

    2016-09-06

    A thermoelectric material and a thermoelectric converter using this material. The thermoelectric material has a first component including a semiconductor material and a second component including a rare earth material included in the first component to thereby increase a figure of merit of a composite of the semiconductor material and the rare earth material relative to a figure of merit of the semiconductor material. The thermoelectric converter has a p-type thermoelectric material and a n-type thermoelectric material. At least one of the p-type thermoelectric material and the n-type thermoelectric material includes a rare earth material in at least one of the p-type thermoelectric material or the n-type thermoelectric material.

  8. Thermoelectric Properties of Silicon Germanium: An Investigation of the Reduction of Lattice Thermal Conductivity and Enhancement of Power Factor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahwal, Ali Sadek

    Thermoelectric materials are of technological interest owing to their ability of direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion. In thermoelectricity, thermal gradients can be used to generate an electrical power output. Recent efforts in thermoelectrics are focused on developing higher efficient power generation materials. In this dissertation, the overall goal is to investigate both the n-type and p-type of the state of the art thermoelectric material, silicon germanium (SiGe), for high temperature power generation. Further improvement of thermoelectric performance of Si-Ge alloys hinges upon how to significantly reduce the as yet large lattice thermal conductivity, and optimizing the thermoelectric power factor PF. Our methods, in this thesis, will be into two different approaches as follow: The first approach is manipulating the lattice thermal conductivity of n and p-type SiGe alloys via direct nanoparticle inclusion into the n-type SiGe matrix and, in a different process, using a core shell method for the p-type SiGe. This approach is in line with the process of in-situ nanocomposites. Nanocomposites have become a new paradigm for thermoelectric research in recent years and have resulted in the reduction of thermal conductivity via the nano-inclusion and grain boundary scattering of heat-carrying phonons. To this end, a promising choice of nano-particle to include by direct mixing into a SiGe matrix would be Yttria Stabilized Zirconia ( YSZ). In this work we report the preparation and thermoelectric study of n-type SiGe + YSZ nanocomposites prepared by direct mechanical mixing followed by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) processing. Specifically, we experimentally investigated the reduction of lattice thermal conductivity (kappaL) in the temperature range (30--800K) of n-type Si 80Ge20P2 alloys with the incorporation of YSZ nanoparticles (20 ˜ 40 nm diameter) into the Si-Ge matrix. These samples synthesized by SPS were found to have densities > 95% of the

  9. Enhanced thermoelectric properties of Ga-doped In2O3 ceramics via synergistic band gap engineering and phonon suppression.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yong; Xu, Wei; Liu, Da-Bo; Yu, Meijuan; Lin, Yuan-Hua; Nan, Ce-Wen

    2015-05-01

    Ga doped In2O3-based thermoelectric materials were prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) using sintered powders in the low temperature solid phase. The solubility of Ga in In2O3 is about 10 at%, much larger than other elements such as Ge, Ce, etc. The larger solubility of Ga allows us to optimize the thermal and electrical transport properties of Ga doped In2O3 in a wider window. While tuning the concentration of dopants, the thermoelectric performance of Ga doped In2O3 was enhanced through a synergistic approach combining band-gap engineering and phonon suppression. The power factor increases from ∼0.5 × 10(-4) to ∼9.6 × 10(-4) W mK(-2) at 700 °C while thermal conductivity reduces from ∼4 to ∼2 W mK(-1) at 700 °C in In1.9Ga0.1O3. The maximum ZT of 0.37, increased by a factor of 4 from the pristine In2O3, is achieved in In1.9Ga0.1O3 at 700 °C. PMID:25829235

  10. Enhanced Thermoelectric Power in Graphene: Violation of the Mott Relation by Inelastic Scattering.

    PubMed

    Ghahari, Fereshte; Xie, Hong-Yi; Taniguchi, Takashi; Watanabe, Kenji; Foster, Matthew S; Kim, Philip

    2016-04-01

    We report the enhancement of the thermoelectric power (TEP) in graphene with extremely low disorder. At high temperature we observe that the TEP is substantially larger than the prediction of the Mott relation, approaching to the hydrodynamic limit due to strong inelastic scattering among the charge carriers. However, closer to room temperature the inelastic carrier-optical-phonon scattering becomes more significant and limits the TEP below the hydrodynamic prediction. We support our observation by employing a Boltzmann theory incorporating disorder, electron interactions, and optical phonons. PMID:27081996

  11. Enhanced Thermoelectric Power in Graphene: Violation of the Mott Relation by Inelastic Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghahari, Fereshte; Xie, Hong-Yi; Taniguchi, Takashi; Watanabe, Kenji; Foster, Matthew S.; Kim, Philip

    2016-04-01

    We report the enhancement of the thermoelectric power (TEP) in graphene with extremely low disorder. At high temperature we observe that the TEP is substantially larger than the prediction of the Mott relation, approaching to the hydrodynamic limit due to strong inelastic scattering among the charge carriers. However, closer to room temperature the inelastic carrier-optical-phonon scattering becomes more significant and limits the TEP below the hydrodynamic prediction. We support our observation by employing a Boltzmann theory incorporating disorder, electron interactions, and optical phonons.

  12. Enhanced Thermoelectric Properties of La-Doped ZrNiSn Half-Heusler Compound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, Rizwan; Zhang, Qiang; Yang, Dongwang; Zheng, Yun; Yan, Yonggao; Su, Xianli; Tang, Xinfeng

    2015-10-01

    The effect of La doping on ZrNiSn half-Heusler (HH) compound has been studied to explore the composition variation and structural modifications for improvement of its thermoelectric performance. A series of La x Zr1- x NiSn ( x = 0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.015, 0.02, 0.03) alloys were prepared by induction melting combined with plasma-activated sintering. Structural analysis using x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed the resulting material to be a composite of HH, NiZr, and La3Sn4-type phases. The volume fraction for the phases other than HH ranged from 1.5% to 25% with increasing La content, as estimated by Rietveld analysis. The solubility of La in ZrNiSn is estimated to be 1.5%. Point defects may play a significant role in carrier and phonon transport. Interestingly, the thermoelectric transport properties exhibited a considerable increase in electrical conductivity σ with La doping and a significant drop in thermal conductivity κ, leading to a thermoelectric figure of merit ( ZT) of 0.53 at 923 K, representing an improvement of about 37% compared with the undoped sample.

  13. Enhanced valley-resolved thermoelectric transport in a magnetic silicene superlattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Zhi Ping; Zhang, Yong Mei; Dong, Shihao

    2015-07-01

    Electrons in two-dimensional crystals with a honeycomb lattice structure possess a valley degree of freedom in addition to charge and spin, which has revived the field of valleytronics. In this work we investigate the valley-resolved thermoelectric transport through a magnetic silicene superlattice. Since spin is coupled to the valley, this device allows a coexistence of the insulating transmission gap of one valley and the metallic resonant band of the other, resulting in a strong valley polarization Pv. Pv oscillates with the barrier strength V with its magnitude greatly enhanced by the superlattice structure. In addition, a controllable fully valley polarized transport and an on/off switching effect in the conductance spectra are obtained. Furthermore, the spin- and valley-dependent thermopowers can be controlled by V, the on-site potential difference between A and B sublattices and Fermi energy, and enhanced by the superlattice structure. Enhanced valley-resolved thermoelectric transport and its control by means of gate voltages make the magnetic silicene superlattice attractive in valleytronics applications.

  14. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of Molybdenum Diselenide Through Combined Mg Intercalation and Nb Doping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Limin; Zhao, Huaizhou; Li, Dandan; Jin, Shifeng; Li, Shanming; Gu, Lin; Liang, Jingkui

    2016-06-01

    Thermoelectric properties of MoSe2.1 were enhanced through a combination of Mg intercalation and Nb doping. Magnesium intercalation simultaneously enhances the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity, owing to a favorable modification of band structure upon Mg intercalation. And Nb substitution on the Mo site increases carrier concentration by two orders of magnitude, in addition to reducing the thermal conductivity of the lattice. With systematic study of the anisotropic thermal and electrical transport properties, an optimized ZT of 0.2 was achieved at 888 K for a Nb0.03 Mo0.97Se2.1Mg0.2 sample along its out-of-plane direction, far exceeding the ˜0.01 value for intrinsic MoSe2.1. While 2 dimensional (2D) transitional-metal dichalcogenides with layered structure have been extensively studied for the fields of ion batteries, optical and electronic devices, and so on, enhancement of thermoelectric properties for these intrinsic semiconductors has rarely been investigated.

  15. Thermoelectric materials and devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Yeonjoon (Inventor); Choi, Sang H. (Inventor); King, Glen C. (Inventor); Elliott, James R. (Inventor); Talcott, Noel A. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    New thermoelectric materials comprise highly [111]-oriented twinned group IV alloys on the basal plane of trigonal substrates, which exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit and good material performance, and devices made with these materials.

  16. New directions for nanoscale thermoelectric materials research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dresselhaus, M. S.; Chen, G.; Tang, M. Y.; Yang, R. G.; Lee, H.; Wang, D. Z.; Ren, F.; Fleurial, J. P.; Gogna, P.

    2005-01-01

    Many of the recent advances in enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit are linked to nanoscale phenomena with both bulk samples containing nanoscale constituents and nanoscale materials exhibiting enhanced thermoelectric performance in their own right. Prior theoretical and experimental proof of principle studies on isolated quantum well and quantum wire samples have now evolved into studies on bulk samples containing nanostructured constituents. In this review, nanostructural composites are shown to exhibit nanostructures and properties that show promise for thermoelectric applications. A review of some of the results obtained to date are presented.

  17. Unconventional thermoelectric behaviors and enhancement of figure of merit in Rashba spintronic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Cong; Li, Dingping; Ma, Zhongshui

    2016-02-01

    Thermoelectric transport in strongly spin-orbit coupled two-dimensional Rashba systems is studied using the exact solution of the linearized Boltzmann equation. Some unusual transport behaviors are revealed. We show that the electrical conductivity as a function of the Fermi energy ɛF behaves differently between the two sides of the band crossing point (BCP). The deviation from the Mott relation occurs when ɛF lies in the vicinity of the BCP and is attributed to the topological change of Fermi surface varying across the BCP. It is shown that the thermopower and thermoelectric figure of merit are strongly enhanced when ɛF downs below the BCP. This enhancement is attributed to not only the one-dimensional-like density of state, but also the unconventional intraband elastic scattering below the BCP. The differences between these results and those obtained by the relaxation time approximation (RTA) are discussed in detail, revealing the necessity of going beyond the RTA in the considered system.

  18. Benefits of Carrier-Pocket Anisotropy to Thermoelectric Performance: The Case of p -Type AgBiSe2

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Parker, David S.; May, Andrew F.; Singh, David J.

    2015-06-05

    Here we study theoretically the effects of anisotropy on the thermoelectric performance of p-type AgBiSe2. We present an apparent realization of the thermoelectric benefits of one-dimensional plate-like carrier pocket anisotropy in the valence band of this material. Based on first principles calculations we find a substantial anisotropy in the electronic structure, likely favorable for thermoelectric performance, in the valence bands of the hexagonal phase of the silver chalcogenide thermoelectric AgBiSe2, while the conduction bands are more isotropic, and in our experiments do not attain high performance. AgBiSe2 has already exhibited a ZT value of 1.5 in a high-temperature disordered fccmore » phase, but room-temperature performance has not been demonstrated. We develop a theory for the ability of anisotropy to decouple the density-of-states and conductivity effective masses, pointing out the influence of this effect in the high performance thermoelectrics Bi2Te3 and PbTe. From our first principles and Boltzmann transport calculations we find that p-type AgBiSe2 has substantial promise as a room temperature thermoelectric, and estimate its performance.« less

  19. Enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit through the reduction of bipolar thermal conductivity with heterostructure barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Bahk, Je-Hyeong Shakouri, Ali

    2014-08-04

    In this paper, we present theoretically that the thermoelectric figure of merit for a semiconductor material with a small band gap can be significantly enhanced near the intrinsic doping regime at high temperatures via the suppression of bipolar thermal conductivity when the minority carriers are selectively blocked by heterostructure barriers. This scheme is particularly effective in nanostructured materials where the lattice thermal conductivity is lowered by increased phonon scatterings at the boundaries, so that the electronic thermal conductivity including the bipolar term is limiting the figure of merit zT. We show that zT can be enhanced to above 3 for p-type PbTe, and above 2 for n-type PbTe at 900 K with minority carrier blocking, when the lattice thermal conductivity is as low as 0.3 W/m K.

  20. Enhanced thermoelectric properties of phase-separating bismuth selenium telluride thin films via a two-step method

    SciTech Connect

    Takashiri, Masayuki Kurita, Kensuke; Hagino, Harutoshi; Miyazaki, Koji; Tanaka, Saburo

    2015-08-14

    A two-step method that combines homogeneous electron beam (EB) irradiation and thermal annealing has been developed to enhance the thermoelectric properties of nanocrystalline bismuth selenium telluride thin films. The thin films, prepared using a flash evaporation method, were treated with EB irradiation in a N{sub 2} atmosphere at room temperature and an acceleration voltage of 0.17 MeV. Thermal annealing was performed under Ar/H{sub 2} (5%) at 300 °C for 60 min. X-ray diffraction was used to determine that compositional phase separation between bismuth telluride and bismuth selenium telluride developed in the thin films exposed to higher EB doses and thermal annealing. We propose that the phase separation was induced by fluctuations in the distribution of selenium atoms after EB irradiation, followed by the migration of selenium atoms to more stable sites during thermal annealing. As a result, thin film crystallinity improved and mobility was significantly enhanced. This indicates that the phase separation resulting from the two-step method enhanced, rather than disturbed, the electron transport. Both the electrical conductivity and the Seebeck coefficient were improved following the two-step method. Consequently, the power factor of thin films that underwent the two-step method was enhanced to 20 times (from 0.96 to 21.0 μW/(cm K{sup 2}) that of the thin films treated with EB irradiation alone.

  1. Dense dislocation arrays embedded in grain boundaries for high-performance bulk thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sang Il; Lee, Kyu Hyoung; Mun, Hyeon A.; Kim, Hyun Sik; Hwang, Sung Woo; Roh, Jong Wook; Yang, Dae Jin; Shin, Weon Ho; Li, Xiang Shu; Lee, Young Hee; Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Kim, Sung Wng

    2015-04-01

    The widespread use of thermoelectric technology is constrained by a relatively low conversion efficiency of the bulk alloys, which is evaluated in terms of a dimensionless figure of merit (zT). The zT of bulk alloys can be improved by reducing lattice thermal conductivity through grain boundary and point-defect scattering, which target low- and high-frequency phonons. Dense dislocation arrays formed at low-energy grain boundaries by liquid-phase compaction in Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 (bismuth antimony telluride) effectively scatter midfrequency phonons, leading to a substantially lower lattice thermal conductivity. Full-spectrum phonon scattering with minimal charge-carrier scattering dramatically improved the zT to 1.86 ± 0.15 at 320 kelvin (K). Further, a thermoelectric cooler confirmed the performance with a maximum temperature difference of 81 K, which is much higher than current commercial Peltier cooling devices.

  2. Doping dependence of thermoelectric performance in Mo3 Sb 7: first principles calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, David; Du, Mao-Hua; Singh, David

    2011-03-01

    Experimental studies have indicated the substantial thermoelectric promise of doped Mo 3 Sb 7 , with a figure-of-merit ZT of 0.9 (H. Xu et al., J. Appl. Phys. 105, 053703 (2009)) already achieved at high temperature. However, optimal doping levels have not yet been achieved. We study doping of Mo 3 Sb 7 with transition metals (Ni,Fe,Co,Ru) via first principles calculations, including electronic structure, lattice dynamics and Boltzmann transport. We discuss the selection of dopant and the potential thermoelectric performance of optimally doped Mo 3 Sb 7 . Research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies, as part of the Propulsion Materials Program, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC.

  3. Performance Analysis of a Thermoelectric Solar Collector Integrated with a Heat Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lertsatitthanakorn, C.; Jamradloedluk, J.; Rungsiyopas, M.; Therdyothin, A.; Soponronnarit, S.

    2013-07-01

    A novel heat pump system is proposed. A thermoelectric solar collector was coupled to a solar-assisted heat pump (TESC-HP) to work as an evaporator. The cooling effect of the system's refrigerant allowed the cold side of the system's thermoelectric modules to work at lower temperature, improving the conversion efficiency. The TESC-HP system mainly consisted of transparent glass, an air gap, an absorber plate that acted as a direct expansion-type collector/evaporator, an R-134a piston-type hermetic compressor, a water-cooled plate-type condenser, thermoelectric modules, and a water storage tank. Test results indicated that the TESC-HP has better coefficient of performance (COP) and conversion efficiency than the separate units. For the meteorological conditions in Mahasarakham, the COP of the TESC-HP system can reach 5.48 when the average temperature of 100 L of water is increased from 28°C to 40°C in 60 min with average ambient temperature of 32.5°C and average solar intensity of 815 W/m2, whereas the conversion efficiency of the TE power generator was around 2.03%.

  4. Enhanced thermoelectric power and electronic correlations in RuSe{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Kefeng Wang, Aifeng; Tomic, A.; Wang, Limin; Petrovic, C.; Abeykoon, A. M. Milinda; Dooryhee, E.; Billinge, S. J. L.

    2015-04-01

    We report the electronic structure, electric and thermal transport properties of Ru{sub 1−x}Ir{sub x}Se{sub 2} (x ≤ 0.2). RuSe{sub 2} is a semiconductor that crystallizes in a cubic pyrite unit cell. The Seebeck coefficient of RuSe{sub 2} exceeds −200 μV/K around 730 K. Ir substitution results in the suppression of the resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient, suggesting the removal of the peaks in density of states near the Fermi level. Ru{sub 0.8}Ir{sub 0.2}Se{sub 2} shows a semiconductor-metal crossover at about 30 K. The magnetic field restores the semiconducting behavior. Our results indicate the importance of the electronic correlations in enhanced thermoelectricity of RuSb{sub 2}.

  5. Enhanced thermoelectric power and electronic correlations in RuSe2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kefeng; Wang, Aifeng; Tomic, A.; Wang, Limin; Abeykoon, A. M. Milinda; Dooryhee, E.; Billinge, S. J. L.; Petrovic, C.

    2015-04-01

    We report the electronic structure, electric and thermal transport properties of Ru1-xIrxSe2 (x ≤ 0.2). RuSe2 is a semiconductor that crystallizes in a cubic pyrite unit cell. The Seebeck coefficient of RuSe2 exceeds -200 μV/K around 730 K. Ir substitution results in the suppression of the resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient, suggesting the removal of the peaks in density of states near the Fermi level. Ru0.8Ir0.2Se2 shows a semiconductor-metal crossover at about 30 K. The magnetic field restores the semiconducting behavior. Our results indicate the importance of the electronic correlations in enhanced thermoelectricity of RuSb2.

  6. Enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of Te-doped FeSb2 nanocomposite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pokharel, Mani; Zhao, Huaizhou; Koirala, Machhindra; Ren, Zhifeng; Opeil, Cyril

    2013-03-01

    FeSb2 is considered as a potential candidate for Peltier cooling applications because of its colossal value of Seebeck coefficient (45,000 μVK-1) at around 10 K. Our earlier works showed that the ZT values of undoped FeSb2 nanocomposites could not be improved significantly despite of the drastic reduction in thermal conductivity which we attributed to the suppression of phonon-drag effect due to increased scattering of phonons off the grain-boundaries in nanocomposites. In this work, we demonstrate that combining nanostructuring approach with Te-doping further improves the thermoelectric properties to yield an enhanced ZT value in FeSb2 nanocomposites.

  7. Enhanced Thermoelectric Properties in the Counter-Doped SnTe System with Strained Endotaxial SrTe.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Li-Dong; Zhang, Xiao; Wu, Haijun; Tan, Gangjian; Pei, Yanling; Xiao, Yu; Chang, Cheng; Wu, Di; Chi, Hang; Zheng, Lei; Gong, Shengkai; Uher, Ctirad; He, Jiaqing; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G

    2016-02-24

    We report enhanced thermoelectric performance in SnTe, where significantly improved electrical transport properties and reduced thermal conductivity were achieved simultaneously. The former was obtained from a larger hole Seebeck coefficient through Fermi level tuning by optimizing the carrier concentration with Ga, In, Bi, and Sb dopants, resulting in a power factor of 21 μW cm(-1) K(-2) and ZT of 0.9 at 823 K in Sn(0.97)Bi(0.03)Te. To reduce the lattice thermal conductivity without deteriorating the hole carrier mobility in Sn(0.97)Bi(0.03)Te, SrTe was chosen as the second phase to create strained endotaxial nanostructures as phonon scattering centers. As a result, the lattice thermal conductivity decreases strongly from ∼2.0 Wm(-1) K(-1) for Sn(0.97)Bi(0.03)Te to ∼1.2 Wm(-1) K(-1) as the SrTe content is increased from 0 to 5.0% at room temperature and from ∼1.1 to ∼0.70 Wm(-1) K(-1) at 823 K. For the Sn(0.97)Bi(0.03)Te-3% SrTe sample, this leads to a ZT of 1.2 at 823 K and a high average ZT (for SnTe) of 0.7 in the temperature range of 300-823 K, suggesting that SnTe is a robust candidate for medium-temperature thermoelectric applications. PMID:26871965

  8. Nanowire Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borshchevsky, Alexander; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Herman, Jennifer; Ryan, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    Nanowire thermoelectric devices, now under development, are intended to take miniaturization a step beyond the prior state of the art to exploit the potential advantages afforded by shrinking some device features to approximately molecular dimensions (of the order of 10 nm). The development of nanowire-based thermoelectric devices could lead to novel power-generating, cooling, and sensing devices that operate at relatively low currents and high voltages. Recent work on the theory of thermoelectric devices has led to the expectation that the performance of such a device could be enhanced if the diameter of the wires could be reduced to a point where quantum confinement effects increase charge-carrier mobility (thereby increasing the Seebeck coefficient) and reduce thermal conductivity. In addition, even in the absence of these effects, the large aspect ratios (length of the order of tens of microns diameter of the order of tens of nanometers) of nanowires would be conducive to the maintenance of large temperature differences at small heat fluxes. The predicted net effect of reducing diameters to the order of tens of nanometers would be to increase its efficiency by a factor of .3. Nanowires made of thermoelectric materials and devices that comprise arrays of such nanowires can be fabricated by electrochemical growth of the thermoelectric materials in templates that contain suitably dimensioned pores (10 to 100 nm in diameter and 1 to 100 microns long). The nanowires can then be contacted in bundles to form devices that look similar to conventional thermoelectric devices, except that a production version may contain nearly a billion elements (wires) per square centimeter, instead of fewer than a hundred as in a conventional bulk thermoelectric device or fewer than 100,000 as in a microdevice. It is not yet possible to form contacts with individual nanowires. Therefore, in fabricating a nanowire thermoelectric device, one forms contacts on nanowires in bundles of the

  9. Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals

    SciTech Connect

    El-Kady, Ihab F; Olsson, Roy H; Hopkins, Patrick; Reinke, Charles; Kim, Bongsang

    2013-08-13

    Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals can simultaneously have a large Seebeck coefficient, high electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials can enable improved thermoelectric devices, such as thermoelectric generators and coolers, with improved performance. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials and devices can be fabricated using techniques that are compatible with standard microelectronics.

  10. A Comprehensive 3D Finite Element Model of a Thermoelectric Module Used in a Power Generator: A Transient Performance Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guangxi; Yu, Xiong

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric power generator has potential for small-scale and distributed power generation because of its high durability and scalability. It is very important to realize that the transient behavior of thermoelectric modules (TEM) affects a thermoelectric generator's response to dynamic working environments. Traditionally, researchers have used simplified models to describe the behavior of thermoelectric modules. In this paper we propose a comprehensive mathematical model that considers the effect of variations of chemical potential and carrier density, which are ignored by traditional models. Finite element models based on this new model are used to simulate the transient behavior of a thermoelectric module subjected to rapid changes in boundary temperature or working load. Simulation results show that transition times of thermoelectric modules affected by temperature change are much longer than those of modules affected by changes in electrical load resistance. Sudden changes in working temperature cause voltage overshoot of the TEM output, which, however, is not observed in responses to sudden changes of load resistance. Comparisons also show there are significant differences between the behavior of TEM predicted by use of this new comprehensive model and that predicted by use of traditional models, particularly for the high-temperature intrinsic ionization region and the low-temperature weak ionization region. This implies that chemical potential and carrier density variations, which are taken into account by this new model but ignored by traditional models, have major effects on the performance of TEM.

  11. Right sizes of nano- and microstructures for high-performance and rigid bulk thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongchao; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Kang, Chanyoung; Hwang, Junphil; Kim, Kangmin; Kim, Jungwon; Burke, Peter; Bowers, John E; Gossard, Arthur C; Shakouri, Ali; Kim, Woochul

    2014-07-29

    In this paper, we systematically investigate three different routes of synthesizing 2% Na-doped PbTe after melting the elements: (i) quenching followed by hot-pressing (QH), (ii) annealing followed by hot-pressing, and (iii) quenching and annealing followed by hot-pressing. We found that the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT, strongly depends on the synthesis condition and that its value can be enhanced to ∼ 2.0 at 773 K by optimizing the size distribution of the nanostructures in the material. Based on our theoretical analysis on both electron and thermal transport, this zT enhancement is attributed to the reduction of both the lattice and electronic thermal conductivities; the smallest sizes (2 ∼ 6 nm) of nanostructures in the QH sample are responsible for effectively scattering the wide range of phonon wavelengths to minimize the lattice thermal conductivity to ∼ 0.5 W/m K. The reduced electronic thermal conductivity associated with the suppressed electrical conductivity by nanostructures also helped reduce the total thermal conductivity. In addition to the high zT of the QH sample, the mechanical hardness is higher than the other samples by a factor of around 2 due to the smaller grain sizes. Overall, this paper suggests a guideline on how to achieve high zT and mechanical strength of a thermoelectric material by controlling nano- and microstructures of the material. PMID:25028497

  12. Thermoelectric performance of co-doped SnTe with resonant levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Min; Gibbs, Zachary M.; Wang, Heng; Han, Yemao; Li, Laifeng; Snyder, G. Jeffrey

    2016-07-01

    Some group III elements such as Indium are known to produce the resonant impurity states in IV-VI compounds. The discovery of these impurity states has opened up new ways for engineering the thermoelectric properties of IV-VI compounds. In this work, resonant states in SnTe were studied by co-doping with both resonant (In) and extrinsic (Ag, I) dopants. A characteristic nonlinear relationship was observed between the Hall carrier concentration (nH) and extrinsic dopant concentration (NI, NAg) in the stabilization region, where a linear increase of dopant concentration does not lead to linear response in the measured nH. Upon substituting extrinsic dopants beyond a certain amount, the nH changed proportionally with additional dopants (Ag, I) (the doping region). The Seebeck coefficients are enhanced as the resonant impurity is introduced, whereas the use of extrinsic doping only induces minor changes. Modest zT enhancements are observed at lower temperatures, which lead to an increase in the average zT values over a broad range of temperatures (300-773 K). The improved average zT obtained through co-doping indicates the promise of fine carrier density control in maximizing the favorable effect of resonant levels for thermoelectric materials.

  13. Right sizes of nano- and microstructures for high-performance and rigid bulk thermoelectrics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongchao; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Kang, Chanyoung; Hwang, Junphil; Kim, Kangmin; Kim, Jungwon; Burke, Peter; Bowers, John E.; Gossard, Arthur C.; Shakouri, Ali; Kim, Woochul

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we systematically investigate three different routes of synthesizing 2% Na-doped PbTe after melting the elements: (i) quenching followed by hot-pressing (QH), (ii) annealing followed by hot-pressing, and (iii) quenching and annealing followed by hot-pressing. We found that the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT, strongly depends on the synthesis condition and that its value can be enhanced to ∼2.0 at 773 K by optimizing the size distribution of the nanostructures in the material. Based on our theoretical analysis on both electron and thermal transport, this zT enhancement is attributed to the reduction of both the lattice and electronic thermal conductivities; the smallest sizes (2∼6 nm) of nanostructures in the QH sample are responsible for effectively scattering the wide range of phonon wavelengths to minimize the lattice thermal conductivity to ∼0.5 W/m K. The reduced electronic thermal conductivity associated with the suppressed electrical conductivity by nanostructures also helped reduce the total thermal conductivity. In addition to the high zT of the QH sample, the mechanical hardness is higher than the other samples by a factor of around 2 due to the smaller grain sizes. Overall, this paper suggests a guideline on how to achieve high zT and mechanical strength of a thermoelectric material by controlling nano- and microstructures of the material. PMID:25028497

  14. Potential improvements in SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generator performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mowery, Alfred L.

    1999-01-01

    In accordance with NASA's slogan: ``Better, Cheaper, Faster,'' this paper will address potential improvements to SiGe RTG technology to make them Better. RTGs are doubtless cheaper than ``paper designs'' which are better and cheaper until development, performance and safety test costs are considered. RTGs have the advantage of being fully developed and tested in the rigors of space for over twenty years. Further, unless a new system can be accelerated tested, as were the RTGs, they cannot be deployed reliably unless a number of systems have succeeded for test periods exceeding the mission lifetime. Two potential developments are discussed that can improve the basic RTG performance by 10 to 40+% depending on the mission profile. These improvements could be demonstrated in years. Accelerated testing could also be performed in this period to preserve existing RTG reliability. Data from a qualification tested RTG will be displayed, while not definitive, to support the conclusions. Finally, it is anticipated that other investigators will be encouraged to suggest further modifications to the basic RTG design to improve its performance.

  15. Potential improvements in SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generator performance

    SciTech Connect

    Mowery, A.L.

    1999-01-01

    In accordance with NASA{close_quote}s slogan: {open_quotes}Better, Cheaper, Faster,{close_quotes} this paper will address potential improvements to SiGe RTG technology to make them Better. RTGs are doubtless cheaper than {open_quotes}paper designs{close_quotes} which are better and cheaper until development, performance and safety test costs are considered. RTGs have the advantage of being fully developed and tested in the rigors of space for over twenty years. Further, unless a new system can be accelerated tested, as were the RTGs, they cannot be deployed reliably unless a number of systems have succeeded for test periods exceeding the mission lifetime. Two potential developments are discussed that can improve the basic RTG performance by 10 to 40{sup +}{percent} depending on the mission profile. These improvements could be demonstrated in years. Accelerated testing could also be performed in this period to preserve existing RTG reliability. Data from a qualification tested RTG will be displayed, while not definitive, to support the conclusions. Finally, it is anticipated that other investigators will be encouraged to suggest further modifications to the basic RTG design to improve its performance. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

  16. Enhanced thermoelectric performance in spark plasma textured bulk n-type BiTe2.7Se0.3 and p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhame, Shekhar D.; Pravarthana, Dhanapal; Prellier, Wilfrid; Noudem, Jacques G.

    2013-05-01

    Bulk p and n-type bismuth tellurides were prepared using spark plasma texturization method. The texture development along the uniaxial load in the 001 direction is confirmed from both x-ray diffraction analysis and electron backscattering diffraction measurements. Interestingly, those textured samples outperform the samples prepared by conventional spark plasma sintering (SPS) leading to a reduced thermal conductivity in the ab-plane. The textured samples of n-type BiTe2.7Se0.3 and p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 showed a 42% and 33% enhancement in figure of merit at room temperature, respectively, as compared to their SPS counterparts, opening the route for applications.

  17. LaPtSb: a half-Heusler compound with high thermoelectric performance.

    PubMed

    Xue, Q Y; Liu, H J; Fan, D D; Cheng, L; Zhao, B Y; Shi, J

    2016-07-21

    The electronic and transport properties of the half-Heusler compound LaPtSb are investigated by performing first-principles calculations combined with semi-classical Boltzmann theory and deformation potential theory. Compared with many typical half-Heusler compounds, LaPtSb exhibits an obviously larger power factor at room temperature, especially for the n-type system. Together with the very low lattice thermal conductivity, the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of LaPtSb can be optimized to a record high value of 2.2 by fine tuning the carrier concentration. PMID:27321233

  18. High-temperature thermoelectric performance of heavily doped PbSe

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, David S; Singh, David J

    2010-01-01

    We present a model calculation, employing first-principles calculations as well as empirical data, which suggests that properly hole-doped bulk PbSe may show a Seebeck coefficient as high as 230 $\\mu V/K$, in a temperature regime in which the lattice thermal conductivity is rather small. It may show therefore show a figure-of-merit ZT as high as 2 for temperatures of 1000 K. Heavily doped p-type PbSe may offer better thermoelectric performance than the sister material, optimized PbTe, for high-temperature applications such as power generation.

  19. High power density performance of WPt and WRh electrodes in the alkali metal thermoelectric converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, R. M.; Jeffries-Nakamura, B.; Underwood, M. L.; Wheeler, B. L.; Loveland, M. E.; Kikkert, S. J.; Lamb, J. L.; Cole, T.; Kummer, J. T.; Bankston, C. P.

    1989-01-01

    The properties of the alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) are discussed together with those of an efficient AMTEC electrode. Three groups of electrodes were prepared and tested for their performance as AMTEC electrodes, including WPt-T3, WRh-B1, and WRh-B2. The best electrodes of both WPt and WRh types typically exhibited low porosity, and thickness greater than 0.8 micron, which indicated that transport in these electrodes does not occur by a purely free-molecular flow mode. The observed values of the exchange current were found to be within the range of those observed for oxide-free Mo electrodes under similar conditions.

  20. High thermoelectric performance of In, Yb, Ce multiple filled CoSb{sub 3} based skutterudite compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Ballikaya, Sedat; Uzar, Neslihan; Yildirim, Saffettin; Salvador, James R.; Uher, Ctirad

    2012-09-15

    Filling voids with rare earth atoms is an effective way to lowering thermal conductivity which necessarily enhances thermoelectric properties of skutterudite compounds. Yb atom is one of the most effective species among the rare earth atoms for filling the voids in the skutterudite structure due to a large atomic mass, radius and it is intermediate valence state. In this work, we aim to find the best filling partners for Yb using different combinations of Ce and In as well as to optimize actual filling fraction in order to achieve high values of ZT. The traditional method of synthesis relying on melting-annealing and followed by spark plasma sintering was used to prepare all samples. The thermoelectric properties of four samples of Yb{sub 0.2}In{sub 0.2}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12}, Yb{sub 0.2}Ce{sub 0.15}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12}, Yb{sub 0.2}Ce{sub 0.15}In{sub 0.2}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12}, and Yb{sub 0.3}Ce{sub 0.15}In{sub 0.2}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12} (nominal) were examined based on the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Hall coefficient. Hall coefficient and Seebeck coefficient signs confirm that all samples are n-type skutterudite compounds. Carrier density increases with the increasing Yb+Ce content. A high power factor value of 57.7 {mu}W/K{sup 2}/cm for Yb{sub 0.2}Ce{sub 0.15}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12} and a lower thermal conductivity value of 2.82 W/m/K for Yb{sub 0.2}Ce{sub 0.15}In{sub 0.2}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12} indicate that small quantities of Ce with In may be a good partner to Yb to reduce the thermal conductivity further and thus enhance the thermoelectric performance of skutterudites. The highest ZT value of 1.43 was achieved for Yb{sub 0.2}Ce{sub 0.15}In{sub 0.2}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12} triple-filled skutterudite at 800 K. - Graphical abstract: Thermoelectric figure of merit of Yb{sub x}In{sub y}Ce{sub z}Co{sub 4}Sb{sub 12} (0{<=}x,y,z{<=}0.18 actual) compounds versus temperature. Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TE properties of Yb

  1. Superior intrinsic thermoelectric performance with zT of 1.8 in single-crystal and melt-quenched highly dense Cu(2-x)Se bulks.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lan-ling; Wang, Xiao-lin; Wang, Ji-yang; Cheng, Zhen-xiang; Dou, Shi-xue; Wang, Jun; Liu, Li-qiang

    2015-01-01

    Practical applications of the high temperature thermoelectric materials developed so far are partially obstructed by the costly and complicated fabrication process. In this work, we put forward two additional important properties for thermoelectric materials, high crystal symmetry and congruent melting. We propose that the recently discovered thermoelectric material Cu2-xSe, with figure of merit, zT, over 1.5 at T of ~ 1000 K, should meet these requirements, based on our analysis of its crystal structure and the Cu-Se binary phase diagram. We found that its excellent thermoelectric performance is intrinsic, and less dependent on grain size, while highly dense samples can be easily fabricated by a melt-quenching approach. Our results reveal that the melt-quenched samples and single crystals exhibit almost the same superior thermoelectric performance, with zT as high as 1.7-1.8 at T of ~973 K. Our findings not only provide a cheap and fast fabrication method for highly dense Cu(2-x)Se bulks with superior thermoelectric performance, paving the way for possible commercialization of Cu2-xSe as an outstanding component in practical thermoelectric modules, but also provide guidance in searching for new classes of thermoelectric systems with high crystal symmetry or further improving the cost performance of other existing congruent-melting thermoelectric materials. PMID:25567317

  2. High thermoelectric performance by resonant dopant indium in nanostructured SnTe.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Liao, Bolin; Lan, Yucheng; Lukas, Kevin; Liu, Weishu; Esfarjani, Keivan; Opeil, Cyril; Broido, David; Chen, Gang; Ren, Zhifeng

    2013-08-13

    From an environmental perspective, lead-free SnTe would be preferable for solid-state waste heat recovery if its thermoelectric figure-of-merit could be brought close to that of the lead-containing chalcogenides. In this work, we studied the thermoelectric properties of nanostructured SnTe with different dopants, and found indium-doped SnTe showed extraordinarily large Seebeck coefficients that cannot be explained properly by the conventional two-valence band model. We attributed this enhancement of Seebeck coefficients to resonant levels created by the indium impurities inside the valence band, supported by the first-principles simulations. This, together with the lower thermal conductivity resulting from the decreased grain size by ball milling and hot pressing, improved both the peak and average nondimensional figure-of-merit (ZT) significantly. A peak ZT of ∼1.1 was obtained in 0.25 atom % In-doped SnTe at about 873 K. PMID:23901106

  3. Formation of nanodots and enhancement of thermoelectric power induced by ion irradiation in PbTe:Ag composite thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, Manju; Meena, Ramcharan; Gupta, Srashti; Pannu, Compesh; Tripathi, Tripurari S.; Varma, Shikha; Tripathi, Surya K.; Asokan, K.; Avasthi, Devesh K.

    2016-07-01

    Present study demonstrates an enhancement in thermoelectric power of 10% Ag doped PbTe (PbTe:Ag) thin films when irradiated with 200 keV Ar ion. X-ray diffraction showed an increase in crystallinity for both PbTe and PbTe:10Ag nano-composite films after Ar ion irradiation due to annealing of defects in the grain boundaries. The preferential sputtering of Pb and Te ions in comparison to Ag ions resulted in the formation of nano-dots. This was further confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Such an enhancement in thermoelectric power of irradiated PbTe:10Ag films in comparison to pristine PbTe:10Ag film is attributed to the decrease in charge carrier concentration that takes part in the transport process via restricting the tunneling of carriers through the wider potential barrier formed at the interface of nano-dots.

  4. Enhanced thermoelectric properties of bismuth sulfide polycrystals prepared by mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao Lidong; Zhang Boping Liu Weishu; Zhang Hailong; Li Jingfeng

    2008-12-15

    Bismuth sulfide powders were synthesized by mechanical alloying (MA) and then consolidated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. In order to improve the electrical transport properties of bismuth sulfides, the carrier concentration was optimized by modifying chemical composition of sulfur through producing sulfur vacancies, and the carrier mobility was enhanced by a two-step SPS as a hot-forging process through increasing grain orientation. The electrical resistivity of bismuth sulfides was reduced to 10{sup -4} from 10{sup -2} {omega} m by optimizing sulfur content, and further lowered by hot-forging, whereby the power factor was significantly increased from 91 to 254 {mu}W/mK{sup 2}. The hot-forged Bi{sub 2}S{sub 2.90} sample showed the highest ZT=0.11 (at 523 K), which is higher than the reported value. The present work revealed that bismuth sulfide compounds as a promising candidate of thermoelectric materials can be synthesized by a simple process. - Abstract: Electrical properties of bismuth sulfides were improved by optimizing carrier concentration through modifying compositions of sulfur and enhancing carrier mobility through SPSed hot-forging. The ZT value of 0.11 was obtained, which is the maximum reported so far . Display Omitted.

  5. The long-term performance degradation of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator using silicon germanium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapfer, G.; Truscello, V. C.

    1976-01-01

    The successful utilization of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) as the power source for spaceflight missions requires that the performance of such an RTG be predictable throughout the mission. Several mechanisms occur within the generator which tend to degrade the performance as a function of operating time. The impact which these mechanisms have on the available output power of an RTG depends primarily on such factors as time, temperature and self-limiting effects. The relative magnitudes, rates and temperature dependency of these various degradation mechanisms have been investigated separately by coupon experiments as well as 4-couple and 18-couple module experiments. This paper discusses the different individual mechanisms and summarizes their combined influence on the performance of an RTG. Also presented as part of the RTG long-term performance characteristics is the sensitivity of the available RTG output power to variations of the individual degradation mechanisms thus identifying the areas of greatest concern for a successful long-term mission.

  6. Numerical Modeling of Year-Round Performance of a Solar Parabolic Dish Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthu, G.; Shanmugam, S.; Veerappan, AR.

    2015-08-01

    This paper presents the year-round performance of a solar parabolic dish thermoelectric generator under different values of operating parameters such as ambient temperature, wind velocity, direct normal irradiation, and water inlet temperature to the heat sink. The solar thermoelectric generator (TEG) is examined for an Indian location of Tiruchirappalli. The electrical power output and TEG efficiency are maximum during the months of April and August, while they are minimum during the month of December. It is found that the monthly average hot-side temperature of the TEG varies from 556.53 K to 592.68 K and the cold-side temperature of the TEG varies from 413.21 K to 438.91 K. When the hot-side temperature reaches the optimum value, the conversion efficiency is reduced, although the power increases. A TEG model is useful to find the temperature of the junctions for different operating parameter values and predict the performance of the TEG at any time. A small standalone power-generating system using this technology is a promising option.

  7. A study of hear sink performance in air and soil for use in a thermoelectric energy harvesting device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, J.; Lawrence, E. E.

    2002-01-01

    A suggested application of a thermoelectric generator is to exploit the natural temperature difference between the air and the soil to generate small amounts of electrical energy. Since the conversion efficiency of even the best thermoelectric generators available is very low, the performance of the heat sinks providing the heat flow is critical. By providing a constant heat input to various heat sinks, field tests of their thermal conductances in soil and in air were performed. Aprototype device without a thermoelectric generator was constructed, buried, and monitored to experimentally measure the heat flow achievable in such a system. Theoretical considerations for design and selection of improved heat sinks are also presented. In particular, the method of shape factoranalysis is used to give rough estimates and upper bounds for the thermal conductance of a passive heat sink buried in soil.

  8. Control system for thermoelectric refrigerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, John L. (Inventor); Criscuolo, Lance (Inventor); Gilley, Michael D. (Inventor); Park, Brian V. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    Apparatus including a power supply (202) and control system is provided for maintaining the temperature within an enclosed structure (40) using thermoelectric devices (92). The apparatus may be particularly beneficial for use with a refrigerator (20) having superinsulation materials (46) and phase change materials (112) which cooperate with the thermoelectric device (92) to substantially enhance the overall operating efficiency of the refrigerator (20). The electrical power supply (202) and control system allows increasing the maximum power capability of the thermoelectric device (92) in response to increased heat loads within the refrigerator (20). The electrical power supply (202) and control system may also be used to monitor the performance of the cooling system (70) associated with the refrigerator (20).

  9. High Thermoelectric Performance Lead Selenide Materials through All-scale Hierarchical Structuring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yeseul

    Industries have paid increasing attention to power generation using waste heat through thermoelectrics, which convert heat to electric energy. This method can be used in renewable applications because of its environmentally friendly process. Large-scale production of bulk materials with high thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) is the key to practical applications. PbTe-based materials have been mostly studied, but are facing a challenge regarding scarcity of Te. PbSe is a more abundant analog of PbTe that has been less frequently studied. This work presents a synthesis and characterization of bulk thermoelectric materials based on both n- and p-type PbSe with atomic-, nano-, meso-scale architectures. When PbSe is doped with Ga and In they efficiently generate electron carriers that are sufficient for high ZT. Thus, higher ZT of n-type PbSe can be achieved than that of optimized n-type PbTe at high temperatures. The study of the thermoelectric properties of p-type PbSe with Li, Na, and K indicates that the efficiency of Na in doping PbSe is found to be the highest. The additional spark plasma sintering (SPS) process allows samples to have increased carrier density and produce mesoscale grains that reduce lattice thermal conductivity, increasing ZT. Additional studies for reducing lattice thermal conductivity through nanostructuring were conducted. Adding (Ca/Sr/Ba)Se and EuSe to Na doped SPS PbSe generates nanoprecipitates. This study shows that the hierarchical architecture on the atomic scale (Na and Ca/Sr/Ba/Eu solid solution), nanoscale (MSe/EuSe nanoprecipitates), and mesoscale (grains) effectively increases ZT. MSe samples show no appreciable change in charge transport, while EuSe samples show decreased charge carriers. However, adding more Na optimizes properties. Continued investigating n-type dopants with Sb and Bi shows that Sb not only plays the role as a dopant but also is unexpectedly effective in generating nanostructuring. The Sb-rich precipitates

  10. Higher thermoelectric performance of Zintl phases (Eu0.5Yb0.5)1-xCaxMg2Bi2 by band engineering and strain fluctuation.

    PubMed

    Shuai, Jing; Geng, Huiyuan; Lan, Yucheng; Zhu, Zhuan; Wang, Chao; Liu, Zihang; Bao, Jiming; Chu, Ching-Wu; Sui, Jiehe; Ren, Zhifeng

    2016-07-19

    Complex Zintl phases, especially antimony (Sb)-based YbZn0.4Cd1.6Sb2 with figure-of-merit (ZT) of ∼1.2 at 700 K, are good candidates as thermoelectric materials because of their intrinsic "electron-crystal, phonon-glass" nature. Here, we report the rarely studied p-type bismuth (Bi)-based Zintl phases (Ca,Yb,Eu)Mg2Bi2 with a record thermoelectric performance. Phase-pure EuMg2Bi2 is successfully prepared with suppressed bipolar effect to reach ZT ∼ 1. Further partial substitution of Eu by Ca and Yb enhanced ZT to ∼1.3 for Eu0.2Yb0.2Ca0.6Mg2Bi2 at 873 K. Density-functional theory (DFT) simulation indicates the alloying has no effect on the valence band, but does affect the conduction band. Such band engineering results in good p-type thermoelectric properties with high carrier mobility. Using transmission electron microscopy, various types of strains are observed and are believed to be due to atomic mass and size fluctuations. Point defects, strain, dislocations, and nanostructures jointly contribute to phonon scattering, confirmed by the semiclassical theoretical calculations based on a modified Debye-Callaway model of lattice thermal conductivity. This work indicates Bi-based (Ca,Yb,Eu)Mg2Bi2 is better than the Sb-based Zintl phases. PMID:27385824