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Title: Mechanical Response of Thermoelectric Materials

A sufficient mechanical response of thermoelectric materials (TEMats) to structural loadings is a prerequisite to the exploitation of any candidate TEMat's thermoelectric efficiency. If a TEMat is mechanically damaged or cracks from service-induced stresses, then its thermal and electrical functions can be compromised or even cease. Semiconductor TEMats tend to be quite brittle and have a high coefficient of thermal expansion; therefore, they can be quite susceptible to mechanical failure when subjected to operational thermal gradients. Because of this, sufficient mechanical response (vis-a-vis, mechanical properties) of any candidate TEMat must be achieved and sustained in the context of the service-induced stress state to which it is subjected. This report provides an overview of the mechanical responses of state-of-the-art TEMats; discusses the relevant properties that are associated with those responses and their measurement; and describes important, nonequilibrium phenomena that further complicate their use in thermoelectric devices. For reference purposes, the report also includes several appendixes that list published data on elastic properties and strengths of a variety of TEMats.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
VT0504000; 600301010; CEVT004
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL work for others; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States