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Title: Feasibility of preparing patterned molybdenum coatings on bismuth telluride thermoelectric modules.

Molybdenum electrical interconnects for thermoelectric modules were produced by air plasma spraying a 30%CE%BCm size molybdenum powder through a laser-cut Kapton tape mask. Initial feasibility demonstrations showed that the molybdenum coating exhibited excellent feature and spacing retention (~170%CE%BCm), adhered to bismuth-telluride, and exhibited electrical conductivity appropriate for use as a thermoelectric module interconnect. A design of experiments approach was used to optimize air plasma spray process conditions to produce a molybdenum coating with low electrical resistivity. Finally, a molybdenum coating was successfully produced on a fullscale thermoelectric module. After the addition of a final titanium/gold layer deposited on top of the molybdenum coating, the full scale module exhibited an electrical resistivity of 128%CE%A9, approaching the theoretical resistivity value for the 6mm module leg of 112%CE%A9. Importantly, air plasma sprayed molybdenum did not show significant chemical reaction with bismuth-telluride substrate at the coating/substrate interface. The molybdenum coating microstructure consisted of lamellar splats containing columnar grains. Air plasma sprayed molybdenum embedded deeply (several microns) into the bismuth-telluride substrate, leading to good adhesion between the coating and the substrate. Clusters of round pores (and cracks radiating from the pores) were found immediately beneath the molybdenum coating. These pores are believed to result frommore » tellurium vaporization during the spray process where the molten molybdenum droplets (2623%C2%B0C) transferred their heat of solidification to the substrate at the moment of impact. Substrate cooling during the molybdenum deposition process was recommended to mitigate tellurium vaporization in future studies.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States