Special Issue "Recent Advances in Thermoelectric Materials for High Efficiency Energy Conversion and Refrigeration"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Paolo Mele
Website
Guest Editor
SIT Research Laboratories, Omiya campus, Shibaura Institute of Technology (Tokyo), 307 Fukasaku, Minuma-ku, Saitama City, Saitama 337-8570, Japan
Interests: thin films; oxides; superconductors; thermoelectrics; energy materials; heat transfer; vortex matter; sustainability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure and honor to invite you to submit your contribution to this Special Issue of Materials entitled “Recent Advances in Thermoelectric Materials for High Efficiency Energy Conversion and Refrigeration".

Thermoelectricity is a well-known phenomenon enabling the conversion of heat into electric energy without moving parts. Its exploitation has been widely considered to contribute to the increasing need for energy along with the concerns about the environmental impact of traditional fossil energy sources. In the last few years, significant improvements in the performance of thermoelectric materials have been achieved through chemical doping, solid solution formation, and nanoengineering approaches. Furthermore, the feasibility of flexible, stretchable, and conformable thermoelectric harvesters has been demonstrated and has attracted the interest of a wide audience. However, the path for practical applications of thermoelectrics still appears long.

This Special Issue of Materials is intended as an effort to bridge the gap between materials science and applications of thermoelectric materials. Many topics are welcome: New thermoelectric compounds; correlation between material structure and thermoelectric properties; bulk thermoelectric ceramics, oxides, and chalcogenides; bulk thermoelectric alloys and intermetallics; organic and polymeric thermoelectrics; thermoelectric thin films, multilayers, and nanocomposites; theory and modeling; thermal transport and thermal conductivity; applications and devices based on thermoelectric materials; standardization and metrology; and more.

Prof. Dr. Paolo Mele
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • thermoelectric materials
  • heat harvesting
  • refrigeration

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Metallization and Diffusion Bonding of CoSb3-Based Thermoelectric Materials
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051130 - 03 Mar 2020
Abstract
CoSb3-based skutterudite alloy is one of the most promising thermoelectric materials in the middle temperature range (room temperature—550 °C). However, the realization of an appropriate metallization layer directly on the sintered skutterudite pellet is indispensable for the real thermoelectric generation application. [...] Read more.
CoSb3-based skutterudite alloy is one of the most promising thermoelectric materials in the middle temperature range (room temperature—550 °C). However, the realization of an appropriate metallization layer directly on the sintered skutterudite pellet is indispensable for the real thermoelectric generation application. Here, we report an approach to prepare the metallization layer and the subsequent diffusion bonding method for the high-performance multi-filled n-type skutterudite alloys. Using the electroplating followed by low-temperature annealing approaches, we successfully fabricated a Co-Mo metallization layer on the surface of the skutterudite alloy. The coefficient of thermal expansion of the electroplated layer was optimized by changing its chemical composition, which can be controlled by the electroplating temperature, current and the concentration of the Mo ions in the solution. We then joined the metallized skutterudite leg to the Cu-Mo electrode using a diffusion bonding method performed at 600 °C and 1 MPa for 10 min. The Co-Mo/skutterudite interfaces exhibit extremely low specific contact resistivity of 1.41 μΩ cm2. The metallization layer inhibited the elemental inter-diffusion to less than 11 µm after annealing at 550 °C for 60 h, indicating a good thermal stability. The current results pave the way for the large-scale fabrication of CoSb3-based thermoelectric modules. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Redox-Promoted Tailoring of the High-Temperature Electrical Performance in Ca3Co4O9 Thermoelectric Materials by Metallic Cobalt Addition
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051060 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
This paper reports a novel composite-based processing route for improving the electrical performance of Ca3Co4O9 thermoelectric (TE) ceramics. The approach involves the addition of metallic Co, acting as a pore filler on oxidation, and considers two simple sintering [...] Read more.
This paper reports a novel composite-based processing route for improving the electrical performance of Ca3Co4O9 thermoelectric (TE) ceramics. The approach involves the addition of metallic Co, acting as a pore filler on oxidation, and considers two simple sintering schemes. The (1-x)Ca3Co4O9/xCo composites (x = 0%, 3%, 6% and 9% vol.) have been prepared through a modified Pechini method, followed by one- and two-stage sintering, to produce low-density (one-stage, 1ST) and high-density (two-stage, 2ST) ceramic samples. Their high-temperature TE properties, namely the electrical conductivity (σ), Seebeck coefficient (α) and power factor (PF), were investigated between 475 and 975 K, in air flow, and related to their respective phase composition, morphology and microstructure. For the 1ST case, the porous samples (56%–61% of ρth) reached maximum PF values of around 210 and 140 μWm−1·K−2 for the 3% and 6% vol. Co-added samples, respectively, being around two and 1.3 times higher than those of the pure Ca3Co4O9 matrix. Although 2ST sintering resulted in rather dense samples (80% of ρth), the efficiency of the proposed approach, in this case, was limited by the complex phase composition of the corresponding ceramics, impeding the electronic transport and resulting in an electrical performance below that measured for the Ca3Co4O9 matrix (224 μWm−1·K−2 at 975K). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Properties and Thermoelectric Performance of the Double-Filled Skutterudite (Sm,Gd)y(FexNi1-x)4Sb12
Materials 2019, 12(15), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12152451 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The structural and thermoelectric properties of the filled skutterudite (Sm,Gd)y(FexNi1-x)4Sb12 were investigated and critically compared to the ones in the Sm-containing system with the aim of unravelling the effect of double filling on [...] Read more.
The structural and thermoelectric properties of the filled skutterudite (Sm,Gd)y(FexNi1-x)4Sb12 were investigated and critically compared to the ones in the Sm-containing system with the aim of unravelling the effect of double filling on filling fraction and thermal conductivity. Several samples (x = 0.50–0.90 and y = 0.15–0.48) were prepared by melting-sintering, and two of them were densified by spark plasma sintering in order to study their thermoelectric features. The crystallographic study enables the recognition of the role of the filler size in ruling the filling fraction and the compositional location of the p/n crossover: It has been found that the former lowers and the latter moves toward lower x values with the reduction of the filler ionic size, as a consequence of the progressively weaker interaction of the filler with the Sb12 cavity. The analysis of thermoelectric properties indicates that, despite the Sm3+/Gd3+ small mass difference, the contemporary presence of these ions in the 2a site significantly affects the thermal conductivity of both p- and n-compositions. This occurs by reducing its value with respect to the Sm-filled compound at each temperature considered, and making the overall thermoelectric performance of the system comparable to several multi-filled (Fe, Ni)-based skutterudites described in the literature. Full article
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