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Title: Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478

Abstract

Thermoelectric materials are utilized in a wide variety of applications related to solid-state refrigeration or small-scale power generation. Thermoelectric cooling is an environmentally friendly method of small-scale cooling in specific applications such as cooling computer chips and laser diodes. Thermoelectric materials are used in a wide range of applications from beverage coolers to power generation for deep-space probes such as the Voyager missions. Over the past thirty years, alloys based on the Bi-Te systems {l{underscore}brace}(Bi{sub 1{minus}x}Sb{sub x}){sub 2} (Te{sub 1{minus}x}Se{sub x}){sub 3}{r{underscore}brace} and Si{sub 1{minus}x}Ge{sub x} systems have been extensively studied and optimized for their use as thermoelectric materials to perform a variety of solid-state thermoelectric refrigeration and power generation tasks. Despite this extensive investigation of the traditional thermoelectric materials, there is still a substantial need and room for improvement, and thus, entirely new classes of compounds will have to be investigated. Over the past two-to-three years, research in the field of thermoelectric materials has been undergoing a rapid rebirth. The enhanced interest in better thermoelectric materials has been driven by the need for much higher performance and new temperature regimes for thermoelectric devices in many applications. The essence of a good thermoelectric is given by the determination of themore » material's dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = ({alpha}{sup 2}{sigma}/{lambda})T, where {alpha} is the Seebeck coefficient, {sigma} the electrical conductivity and {lambda} the total thermal conductivity. The best thermoelectric materials have a value of ZT = 1. This ZT = 1 has been an upper limit for more than 30 years, yet no theoretical or thermodynamic reason exits for why it can not be larger. The focus of the symposium is embodied in the title, Thermoelectric Materials: New Directions and Approaches. Many of the researchers in the field believe that future advances in thermoelectric applications will come through research in new materials. The authors have many new methods of materials synthesis and much more rapid characterization of these materials than were available 20--30 years ago. They have tried to focus the symposium on new directions and new materials such as skutterudites, quantum well and superlattice structures, new metal chalcogenides, rare earth systems, and quasicrystals. Other new materials are also presented in these proceedings. Separate abstracts were prepared for all the papers in this volume.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. eds.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20014234
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1997 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA (US), 03/31/1997--04/03/1997; Other Information: Single article reprints are available through University Microfilms Inc., 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106; PBD: 1997
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS; MEETINGS; LEADING ABSTRACT; SUPERLATTICES; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; RARE EARTH COMPOUNDS; THERMOELECTRIC PROPERTIES; SEEBECK EFFECT; THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY

Citation Formats

Tritt, T M, Kanatzidis, M G, Lyon, Jr, H B, and Mahan, G D. Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478. United States: N. p., 1997. Web.
Tritt, T M, Kanatzidis, M G, Lyon, Jr, H B, & Mahan, G D. Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478. United States.
Tritt, T M, Kanatzidis, M G, Lyon, Jr, H B, and Mahan, G D. Tue . "Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478". United States.
@article{osti_20014234,
title = {Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478},
author = {Tritt, T M and Kanatzidis, M G and Lyon, Jr, H B and Mahan, G D},
abstractNote = {Thermoelectric materials are utilized in a wide variety of applications related to solid-state refrigeration or small-scale power generation. Thermoelectric cooling is an environmentally friendly method of small-scale cooling in specific applications such as cooling computer chips and laser diodes. Thermoelectric materials are used in a wide range of applications from beverage coolers to power generation for deep-space probes such as the Voyager missions. Over the past thirty years, alloys based on the Bi-Te systems {l{underscore}brace}(Bi{sub 1{minus}x}Sb{sub x}){sub 2} (Te{sub 1{minus}x}Se{sub x}){sub 3}{r{underscore}brace} and Si{sub 1{minus}x}Ge{sub x} systems have been extensively studied and optimized for their use as thermoelectric materials to perform a variety of solid-state thermoelectric refrigeration and power generation tasks. Despite this extensive investigation of the traditional thermoelectric materials, there is still a substantial need and room for improvement, and thus, entirely new classes of compounds will have to be investigated. Over the past two-to-three years, research in the field of thermoelectric materials has been undergoing a rapid rebirth. The enhanced interest in better thermoelectric materials has been driven by the need for much higher performance and new temperature regimes for thermoelectric devices in many applications. The essence of a good thermoelectric is given by the determination of the material's dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = ({alpha}{sup 2}{sigma}/{lambda})T, where {alpha} is the Seebeck coefficient, {sigma} the electrical conductivity and {lambda} the total thermal conductivity. The best thermoelectric materials have a value of ZT = 1. This ZT = 1 has been an upper limit for more than 30 years, yet no theoretical or thermodynamic reason exits for why it can not be larger. The focus of the symposium is embodied in the title, Thermoelectric Materials: New Directions and Approaches. Many of the researchers in the field believe that future advances in thermoelectric applications will come through research in new materials. The authors have many new methods of materials synthesis and much more rapid characterization of these materials than were available 20--30 years ago. They have tried to focus the symposium on new directions and new materials such as skutterudites, quantum well and superlattice structures, new metal chalcogenides, rare earth systems, and quasicrystals. Other new materials are also presented in these proceedings. Separate abstracts were prepared for all the papers in this volume.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1997},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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