Index of content:
Volume 4, Issue 10, October 2016
- SPECIAL TOPIC: THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS
- Invited Research Updates
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4954227View Description Hide Description
Materials’ design for high-performance thermoelectric oxides is discussed. Since chemical stability at high temperature in air is a considerable advantage in oxides, we evaluate thermoelectric power factor in the high temperature limit. We show that highly disordered materials can be good thermoelectric materials at high temperatures, and the effects of strong correlation can further enhance the figure of merit by adding thermopower arising from the spin and orbital degrees of freedom. We also discuss the Kelvin formula as a promising expression for strongly correlated materials and show that the calculation based on the Kelvin formula can be directly compared with the cross-layer thermopower of layered materials.
- Invited Articles
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4950809View Description Hide Description
PbSe is an inexpensive alternative for PbTe as a mid-temperature thermoelectric material, but few investigations have been reported about its intrinsic properties despite recent efforts on doping techniques. In this work, pristine PbSe bulk materials were synthesized by a process combining mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering, which is increasingly used for processing thermoelectric materials, and their electrical and thermal transport properties as well as thermoelectric performance were investigated in a wide temperature range. A maximum ZT ∼0.83 was obtained at 673 K in nominal composition PbSe + 3 or 4 at. % Pb, leading to nearly 50% enhancement from reported n-type pristine PbSe, mainly benefitting from the improved electrical performance. Furthermore, the potential thermoelectric efficiency was also improved due to the enhanced low-temperature performance, showing a high average ZT of 0.6 that is even comparable to that of commercial n-type Bi2Te3 materials.
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4950994View Description Hide Description
We report a systematic study on the thermoelectric performance of spin Seebeck devices based on Fe3O4/Pt junction systems. We explore two types of device geometries: a spin Hall thermopile and spin Seebeck multilayer structures. The spin Hall thermopile increases the sensitivity of the spin Seebeck effect, while the increase in the sample internal resistance has a detrimental effect on the output power. We found that the spin Seebeck multilayers can overcome this limitation since the multilayers exhibit the enhancement of the thermoelectric voltage and the reduction of the internal resistance simultaneously, therefore resulting in significant power enhancement. This result demonstrates that the multilayer structures are useful for improving the thermoelectric performance of the spin Seebeck effect.
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4952610View Description Hide Description
We present an investigation of the thermoelectric properties of cubic perovskite SrTiO3. The results are derived from a combination of calculated transport functions obtained from Boltzmann transport theory in the constant scattering time approximation based on the electronic structure and existing experimental data for La-doped SrTiO3. The figure of merit ZT is modeled with respect to carrier concentration and temperature. The model predicts a relatively high ZT at optimized doping and suggests that the ZT value can reach 0.7 at T = 1400 K. Thus ZT can be improved from the current experimental values by carrier concentration optimization.
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4952994View Description Hide Description
Here we report the thermoelectric properties of NbCoSn-based n-type half-Heuslers (HHs) that were obtained through arc melting, ball milling, and hot pressing process. With 10% Sb substitution at the Sn site, we obtained enhanced n-type properties with a maximum power factor reaching ∼35 μW cm−1 K−2 and figure of merit (ZT) value ∼0.6 in NbCoSn0.9Sb0.1. The ZT is doubled compared to the previous report. In addition, the specific power cost ($ W−1) is decreased by ∼68% comparing to HfNiSn-based n-type HH because of the elimination of Hf.
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4953439View Description Hide Description
In this study, a series of copper sulfides Cu xS with x spanning from 1.8 to 1.96 was prepared and their crystal structures, elemental valence states, and thermoelectric properties were systematically studied. The valence state of Cu in Cu xS is unchanged as the ratio of Cu/S varies, while the thermoelectric properties are very sensitive to the deficiency of Cu. In addition, the type of sulfur arrangement in the crystal structure also plays an important role on the electrical transports. Finally, the optimum Cu/S atomic ratios in the binary Cu xS system were identified for high power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit.
- Contributed Articles
4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4950947View Description Hide Description
Bi2Te3-based compounds are a well-known class of outstanding thermoelectric materials. β-As2Te3, another member of this family, exhibits promising thermoelectric properties around 400 K when appropriately doped. Herein, we investigate the high-temperature thermoelectric properties of the β-As2−xBixTe3 solid solution. Powder X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy experiments showed that a solid solution only exists up to x = 0.035. We found that substituting Bi for As has a beneficial influence on the thermopower, which, combined with extremely low thermal conductivity values, results in a maximum ZT value of 0.7 at 423 K for x = 0.017 perpendicular to the pressing direction.
Tailoring of the electrical and thermal properties using ultra-short period non-symmetric superlattices4(2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4954499View Description Hide Description
Thermoelectric modules based on half-Heusler compounds offer a cheap and clean way to create eco-friendly electrical energy from waste heat. Here we study the impact of the period composition on the electrical and thermal properties in non-symmetric superlattices, where the ratio of components varies according to (TiNiSn)n:(HfNiSn)6−n, and 0 ⩽ n ⩽ 6 unit cells. The thermal conductivity (κ) showed a strong dependence on the material content achieving a minimum value for n = 3, whereas the highest value of the figure of merit ZT was achieved for n = 4. The measured κ can be well modeled using non-symmetric strain relaxation applied to the model of the series of thermal resistances.