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Energies 2015, 8(7), 6451-6467; doi:10.3390/en8076451

Extrapolation of Transport Properties and Figure of Merit of a Thermoelectric Material

1
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
2
Marlow Industries, Inc. (Subsidiary of II-VI Incorporated) 10451 Vista Park Rd., Dallas, TX 75238, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sima Aminorroaya-Yamini
Received: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [356 KB, uploaded 26 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

The accurate determination of the thermoelectric properties of a material becomes increasingly difficult as the temperature rises. However, it is the properties at elevated temperatures that are important if thermoelectric generator efficiency is to be improved. It is shown that the dimensionless figure of merit, ZT, might be expected to rise with temperature for a given material provided that minority carrier conduction can be avoided. It is, of course, also necessary that the material should remain stable over the whole operating range. We show that the prediction of high temperature properties in the extrinsic region is possible if the temperature dependence of carrier mobility and lattice thermal conductivity are known. Also, we show how the undesirable effects arising from mixed or intrinsic conduction can be calculated from the energy gap and the relative mobilities of the electrons and the positive holes. The processes involved are discussed in general terms and are illustrated for different systems. These comprise the bismuth telluride alloys, silicon-germanium alloys, magnesium-silicon-tin and higher manganese silicide. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoelectric; generation; semiconductors; energy conversion; energy gap; intrinsic conduction; extrinsic conduction thermoelectric; generation; semiconductors; energy conversion; energy gap; intrinsic conduction; extrinsic conduction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Goldsmid, H.J.; Sharp, J. Extrapolation of Transport Properties and Figure of Merit of a Thermoelectric Material. Energies 2015, 8, 6451-6467.

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