Special Issue "Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Weon Ho Shin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, Korea
Interests: thermoelectric materials, thermoelectric module, ceramic nanoparticles, carbon nanotube, graphene, composite materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasingly, energy and environmental research is responding to demands to address global issues surrounding environmental variation and the reduction of greenhouse gases. These issues require sustainable energy methods that can effectively recover energy waste. Thermoelectricity is considered a valuable technology of renewable energy sources due to its capacity for directly converting wasted thermal energy into useful electric energy.

Novel thermoelectric materials with cost-effective, non-toxic , high-performance properties need to be developed further, despite a possible slowing in the expansion of the thermodynamic field as a whole, in order to ensure the advancement of a flexible, reliable, high performance themoelectric module.

Hence, this Special Issue will address recent innovative work in the field of thermoelectric materials, as well as their integration into thermoelectric modules, targeted for various temperature ranges of wasted thermal energy. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Bulk inorganic thermoelectric materials
  • Organic or organic/inorganic hybrid thermoelectric materials
  • Advances in synthesis and processing of thermoelectric materials
  • Thermoelectric modules with rigid/flexible substrates

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, short communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Weon Ho Shin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

  • bulk thermoelectric materials
  • hybrid thermoelectric materials
  • thermal property
  • advanced processing technology
  • thermoelectric module
  • flexible device

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Molecular Weight Dependence of Thermoelectric Properties of Poly (3-Hexylthiophene)
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061404 - 19 Mar 2020
Abstract
Organic materials have been found to be promising candidates for low-temperature thermoelectric applications. In particular, poly (3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) has been attracting great interest due to its desirable intrinsic properties, such as excellent solution processability, chemical and thermal stability, and high field-effect mobility. However, [...] Read more.
Organic materials have been found to be promising candidates for low-temperature thermoelectric applications. In particular, poly (3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) has been attracting great interest due to its desirable intrinsic properties, such as excellent solution processability, chemical and thermal stability, and high field-effect mobility. However, its poor electrical conductivity has limited its application as a thermoelectric material. It is therefore important to improve the electrical conductivity of P3HT layers. In this work, we studied how molecular weight (MW) influences the thermoelectric properties of P3HT films. The films were doped with lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl) imide salt (LiTFSI) and 4-tert butylpyridine (TBP). Various P3HT layers with different MWs ranging from 21 to 94 kDa were investigated. UV–Vis spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis were performed to investigate the morphology and structure features of thin films with different MWs. The electrical conductivity initially increased when the MW increased and then decreased at the highest MW, whereas the Seebeck coefficient had a trend of reducing as the MW grew. The maximum thermoelectric power factor (1.87 μW/mK2) was obtained for MW of 77 kDa at 333 K. At this temperature, the electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient of this MW were 65.5 S/m and 169 μV/K, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical and Experimental Study on the Performance of Thermoelectric Radiant Panel for Space Heating
Materials 2020, 13(3), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030550 - 23 Jan 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the suitable operation and performance of a thermoelectric radiant panel (TERP) in the heating operation. First, the hypothesis was suggested that the heating operation of TERP can operate without a heat source at the cold [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the suitable operation and performance of a thermoelectric radiant panel (TERP) in the heating operation. First, the hypothesis was suggested that the heating operation of TERP can operate without a heat source at the cold side according to theoretical considerations. To prove this hypothesis, the thermal behavior of the TERP was investigated during the heating operation using a numerical simulation based on the finite difference method. The results indicated that it is possible to heat the radiant panel using a thermoelectric module without fan operation via the Joule effect. A mockup model of the TERP was constructed, and the numerical model and hypothesis were validated in experiment 1. Moreover, experiment 2 was performed to evaluate the necessity of fan operation in the heating operation of TERP regarding energy consumption. The results revealed that the TERP without fan operation showed the higher coefficient of performance (COP) in the heating season. After determining the suitable heating operation of the TERP, prediction models for the heating capacity and power consumption of the TERP were developed using the response surface methodology. Both models exhibited good R2 values of >0.94 and were validated within 10% error bounds in experimental cases. These prediction models are expected to be utilized in whole-building simulation programs for estimating the energy consumption of TERPs in the heating mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Phase Formation Behavior and Thermoelectric Transport Properties of P-Type YbxFe3CoSb12 Prepared by Melt Spinning and Spark Plasma Sintering
Materials 2020, 13(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010087 - 23 Dec 2019
Abstract
Formation of multiple phases is considered an effective approach for enhancing the performance of thermoelectric materials since it can reduce the thermal conductivity and improve the power factor. Herein, we report the in-situ generation of a submicron-scale (~500 nm) heterograin structure in p [...] Read more.
Formation of multiple phases is considered an effective approach for enhancing the performance of thermoelectric materials since it can reduce the thermal conductivity and improve the power factor. Herein, we report the in-situ generation of a submicron-scale (~500 nm) heterograin structure in p-type Yb-filled (Fe,Co)4Sb12 skutterudites during the melt spinning process. Mixed grains of YbxFe3−yCo1+ySb12 and YbzFe3+yCo1−ySb12 were formed in melt spun ribbons due to uneven distribution of cations. By the formation of interfaces between two different grains, the power factor was enhanced due to the formation of an energy barrier for carrier transport, and simultaneously the lattice thermal conductivity was reduced due to the intensified boundary phonon scattering. A high thermoelectric figure of merit zT of 0.66 was obtained at 700 K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Pd Doping on Electrical and Thermal Properties of n-Type Cu0.008Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 Alloys
Materials 2019, 12(24), 4080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12244080 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Doping is known as an effective way to modify both electrical and thermal transport properties of thermoelectric alloys to enhance their energy conversion efficiency. In this project, we report the effect of Pd doping on the electrical and thermal properties of n-type [...] Read more.
Doping is known as an effective way to modify both electrical and thermal transport properties of thermoelectric alloys to enhance their energy conversion efficiency. In this project, we report the effect of Pd doping on the electrical and thermal properties of n-type Cu0.008Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 alloys. Pd doping was found to increase the electrical conductivity along with the electron carrier concentration. As a result, the effective mass and power factors also increased upon the Pd doping. While the bipolar thermal conductivity was reduced with the Pd doping due to the increased carrier concentration, the contribution of Pd to point defect phonon scattering on the lattice thermal conductivity was found to be very small. Consequently, Pd doping resulted in an enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit, zT, at a high temperature, due to the enhanced power factor and the reduced bipolar thermal conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Insight on the Interplay between Synthesis Conditions and Thermoelectric Properties of α-MgAgSb
Materials 2019, 12(11), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12111857 - 07 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
α-MgAgSb is a very promising thermoelectric material with excellent thermoelectric properties between room temperature and 300 °C, a range where few other thermoelectric materials show good performance. Previous reports rely on a two-step ball-milling process and/or time-consuming annealing. Aiming for a faster and [...] Read more.
α-MgAgSb is a very promising thermoelectric material with excellent thermoelectric properties between room temperature and 300 °C, a range where few other thermoelectric materials show good performance. Previous reports rely on a two-step ball-milling process and/or time-consuming annealing. Aiming for a faster and scalable fabrication route, herein, we investigated other potential synthesis routes and their impact on the thermoelectric properties of α-MgAgSb. We started from a gas-atomized MgAg precursor and employed ball-milling only in the final mixing step. Direct comparison of high energy ball-milling and planetary ball-milling revealed that high energy ball milling already induced formation of MgAgSb, while planetary ball milling did not. This had a strong impact on the microstructure and secondary phase fraction, resulting in superior performance of the high energy ball milling route with an attractive average thermoelectric figure of merit of z T avg = 0.9. We also show that the formation of undesired secondary phases cannot be avoided by a modification of the sintering temperature after planetary ball milling, and discuss the influence of commonly observed secondary phases on the carrier mobility and on the thermoelectric properties of α-MgAgSb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Their Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Bi8Se9, effective reduction of the bipolar diffusion effect via band gap increase

Rui Wang, Fei Jia, Xuan Li, Ling Chen*, Li-Ming Wu*

Beijing Key Laboratory of Energy Conversion and Storage Materials, College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Key Laboratory of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

BiSe exhibits greatly reduced lattice thermal conductivity in comparison with that of Bi2Se3, owning to the successful separation of the Bi2Se3 blocks by the metallic Bi-double-layers in its single crystal structure. However, as the increase of temperature, the thermal conductivity of BiSe increases significantly because the strong bipolar diffusion effect which is mainly caused by its small band gap that increases the intrinsic excitation. In this work, we successfully synthesize a new phase n-type Bi8Se9, and investigate the anisotropic intrinsic thermoelectric properties on the SPS samples for the first time. we reveal that in comparison with BiSe, the new compound Bi8Se9 not only has the metallic Bi-double-layers which reduces the lattice thermal conductivity, but also has a lower Bi concentration which results in a wider band gap(0.14 eV, larger than the 0.08 eV of BiSe, both values are estimated according to Eg = 2eSmaxT. Consequently, the bipolar diffusion effect in Bi8Se9 is significantly reduced. As observed, Bi8Se9 shows a bipolar thermal conductivity of 0.14 Wm-1K-1 at 673 K, much smaller than that of BiSe (0.37 Wm-1K-1 at 670 K). Finally, Bi8Se9 realizes a balance between the resistance and the Seebeck coefficient and a smaller thermal conductivity, and therefore achieves a ZT of 0.40 at 673 K.

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