Highly-efficient thermoelectric devices are expected to provide clean energy technology-needs of the hour for US energy sustainability
A team of Clemson University physicists consisting of nanomaterial scientists Apparao Rao and Ramakrishna Podila and thermoelectricians Terry Tritt, Jian He and Pooja Puneet worked synergistically through the newly establishedClemson Nanomaterials Center to develop a novel technique of tailoring thermoelectric properties of n-type bismuth telluride for high thermoelectric performance.
Their findings were published in journal Scientific Reports.
The current US energy economy and environment are increasingly threatened by fast-dwindling domestic reserves of fossil fuel coupled with severe environmental impact of fossil fuel combustion. Highly-efficient thermoelectric devices are expected to provide clean energy technology-needs of the hour for US energy sustainability. This research is a step towards optimizing the device performance since it outlines a methodology to overcome a challenge that has “frustrated” thermoelectric researchers to date.
Thermoelectric (TE) devices convert waste heat into electricity through a unique material’s property called the Seebeck effect. Basically, the Seebeck effect results in a voltage across the two ends of a TE material, akin to the voltage present across the two ends of a AA battery, when the TE material is properly exposed to the waste heat. In such devices, the efficiency of converting heat into electricity is governed by certain strongly coupled materials properties, viz., electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity. A functional TE device consists of multiple legs made up of p-type and n-type materials, just as a diode comprises of a p-n junction.
Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) is a layered material and can be viewed as a deck of playing cards, wherein each card is only a few atoms thick. Bi2Te3 is currently regarded as the state-of-the-art TE material with high efficiency for converting waste heat into electricity, and is therefore attractive for energy harvesting processes.
Traditional nanosizing methods failed to improve the performance of n-type Bi2Te3 since they simply downgrade all materials properties simultaneously. Therefore, Clemson researchers and colleagues developed a novel nanosizing method in which we first peel n-type Bi2Te3 into atomically thin-sheets (akin to graphene which is one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms) and reassemble them using a spark plasma sintering process.
The researchers found that that the above described two-step process of first separating the deck of cards into individual cards and then re-assembling them into a deck via spark plasma sintering does enable us to suitably tailor the materials properties of n-type Bi2Te3for high TE performance. In this approach, the so-called ‘interfacial charged defects’ are generated in the sintered n-type Bi2Te3 which not only improves its structural properties but also its thermoelectric efficiency over a wide temperature window, thus making it extremely compatible with p-type Bi2Te3 for manufacturing efficient TE devices.
The improved compatibility factor (demonstrated in this paper) is expected to open new possibilities for highly efficient TE devices. The fascinating and noteworthy element of this research is that defects, which often connote impurity and are associated with low performance or efficiency, can indeed be used to tune the properties of materials to our advantage.
Read more . . .
The Latest on: Thermoelectric devices
Sputtering Targets and Sputtered Films: Technology and Markets - PRNewswire
February 19, 2019 - Sputtering Targets and Sputtered Films: Technology and Markets PRNewswireNEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Report Scope: This report provides an updated review of sputtering technologies and a description of various types ...
Sustainable and recyclable thermoelectric paper: Device, produced by bacteria, takes advantage of the residual heat and transforms it into electricity for innovative sensing applications - Science Daily
January 30, 2019 - Sustainable and recyclable thermoelectric paper: Device, produced by bacteria, takes advantage of the residual heat and transforms it into electricity for innovative sensing applications Science DailyResearchers have created a new concept of thermoelectric material. It is a device composed of cellulose, produced in situ in the laboratory by bacteria, with ...
New cooling mechanism uses normal light, instead of lasers - physicsworld.com
February 13, 2019 - New cooling mechanism uses normal light, instead of lasers physicsworld.comA new method for photonic cooling using light from a conventional LED has been demonstrated by researchers in the US. They achieved a modest cooling flux ...
A sustainable and recyclable carbon nanotubes thermoelectric paper - Nanowerk
January 30, 2019 - A sustainable and recyclable carbon nanotubes thermoelectric paper Nanowerk(Nanowerk News) Thermoelectric materials, capable of transforming heat into electricity, are very promising when converting residual heat into electrical energy, ...
This New Bacteria-Based Thermoelectric Paper is Both Sustainable and Recyclable - Interesting Engineering
February 1, 2019 - This New Bacteria-Based Thermoelectric Paper is Both Sustainable and Recyclable Interesting EngineeringThe novel device is simple but highly effective making use of easily accessible bacteria.
Global Thermoelectric Market Is Expected to Mask a CAGR of 14.3% by 2023 : Top Key Players – Komatsu Limited, Gentherm Incorporated, Yamaha Corporation, Tellurex Corporat - Press Release - Digital Journal
February 1, 2019 - Global Thermoelectric Market Is Expected to Mask a CAGR of 14.3% by 2023 : Top Key Players – Komatsu Limited, Gentherm Incorporated, Yamaha Corporation, Tellurex Corporat - Press Release Digital JournalThermoelectric Market – By Material Type (Bismuth Telluride, Calcium Manganese Oxide, Lead Telluride, Others), By Application (Automotive, Aerospace, ...
Global Thermoelectric Cooling Devices Market 2018-2023 Overview, Trends and Insights - Tech Dose Daily
February 13, 2019 - Global Thermoelectric Cooling Devices Market 2018-2023 Overview, Trends and Insights Tech Dose DailyFior Markets' latest research publication offering titled Global Thermoelectric Cooling Devices Market Growth 2018-2023 assesses historical, latest values, and ...
Materials chemists tap body heat to power 'smart garments' - Phys.org
January 22, 2019 - Materials chemists tap body heat to power 'smart garments' Phys.orgMany wearable biosensors, data transmitters and similar tech advances for personalized health monitoring have now been "creatively miniaturized," says ...
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY IN GLOBAL THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR MARKET TILL 2022 BY KEY PLAYERS AND REGIONAL ANALYSIS - Journal Worldwide
February 1, 2019 - GROWTH OPPORTUNITY IN GLOBAL THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR MARKET TILL 2022 BY KEY PLAYERS AND REGIONAL ANALYSIS Journal WorldwideThermoelectric Generator – Global Market Outlook with Key Players and Segmentation (2018 – 2023). Thermoelectric Generator. Global Thermoelectric ...
Newest Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Devices Market analysis 2018-2023, latest trend, Growth by Top companies and global forecast - DD News Herald
February 17, 2019 - Newest Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Devices Market analysis 2018-2023, latest trend, Growth by Top companies and global forecast DD News HeraldThermoelectric Energy Harvesting Devices Market provides the best companies, supply chain trends, technical inventions, important developments, and ...