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Multifunctional probes for high-throughput measurement of Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity at room temperature
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An apparatus capable of rapid measurement of the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity at room temperature is reported. The novel aspect of this apparatus is the use of 4 multifunctional probes that comprise a junction of two conductors at the tip and serve as both thermocouples and electrical contacts. In addition, one of the probes has a built-in heater that can establish a temperature gradient in the sample for the Seebeck measurement. The technique does not require special sample geometries or preparation of contacts and is suitable for bulk and thin film materials. Together with automated sample stage and data acquisition, the equipment is able to measure both the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity in less than 20 s with good accuracy. Less than 5% and 4% relative errors were found for the measurement of the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity, respectively. This makes the apparatus especially useful for high throughput evaluation of thermoelectric materials.
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