Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit by a Nanostructure Approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011


Zhifeng Ren
Affiliation:
renzh@bc.edu, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 02467, United States
Bed Poudel
Affiliation:
poudel@bc.edu, GMZ Energy Inc., Waltham, United States
Yi Ma
Affiliation:
mayi@bc.edu, Boston College, Physics, Chestnut Hill, United States
Yucheng Lan
Affiliation:
lany@bc.edu, Boston College, Physics, Chestnut Hill, United States
Austin Minnich
Affiliation:
aminnich@MIT.EDU, MIT, Cambridge, United States
Andy Muto
Affiliation:
andymuto@MIT.EDU, MIT, Cambridge, United States
Jian Yang
Affiliation:
yangjm@bc.edu, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
Bo Yu
Affiliation:
yub@bc.edu, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
Xiao Yan
Affiliation:
yanxa@bc.edu, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
Dezhi Wang
Affiliation:
wangda@bc.edu, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
Junming Liu
Affiliation:
liujm@nju.edu.cn, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
Mildred Dresselhaus
Affiliation:
millie@mgm.mit.edu, MIT, Cambridge, United States
Gang Chen
Affiliation:
gchen2@mit.edu, MIT, Cambridge, United States

Abstract

The dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) in bulk materials has remained about 1 for many years. Here we show that a significant ZT improvement can be achieved in nanocrystalline bulk materials. These nanocrystalline bulk materials were made by hot-pressing nanopowders that are ball-milled from either crystalline ingots or elements. Electrical transport measurements, coupled with microstructure studies and modeling, show that the ZT improvement is the result of low thermal conductivity caused by the increased phonon scattering by grain boundaries and defects. More importantly, the nanostructure approach has been demonstrated in a few thermoelectric material systems, proving its generosity. The approach can be easily scaled up to multiple tons. Thermal stability studies have shown that the nanostructures are stable at the application temperature for an extended period of time. It is expected that such enhanced materials will make the existing cooling and power generation systems more efficient.


Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1 Rowe, D. M., Ed., CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2 Goldsmid, H. J., Thermoelectric Refrigeration (Plenum Press, New York, 1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3 Tritt, T. M., Ed., Semiconductors and Semimetals (Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 2001).Google Scholar
4 Disalvo, F. J., Science 285, 703 (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
5 Sales, B. C., Science 295, 1248 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6 Venkatasubramanian, R., Siivola, E., Colpitts, T., and O'Quinn, B., Nature 413, 597 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7 Harman, T. C., Taylor, P. J., Walsh, M. P., and LaForge, B. E., Science 297, 2229 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
8 Hsu, K. F., Loo, S., Guo, F., Chen, W., Dyck, J. S., Uher, C., Hogan, T., Polychroniadis, E. K., and Kanatzidis, M. G., Science 303, 818 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
9 Poudel, B., Hao, Q., Ma, Y., Lan, Y. C., Minnich, A., Yu, B., Yan, X., Wang, D. Z., Muto, A., Vashaee, D., Chen, X. Y., Liu, J. M., Dresselhaus, M., Chen, G., and Ren, Z. F., Science 320, 634 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
10 Ma, Y., Hao, Q., Poudel, B., Lan, Y. C., Yu, B., Wang, D. Z., Chen, G., and Ren, Z. F., Nano Letters 8, 2580 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
11 Lan, Y. C., Poudel, B., Ma, Y., Wang, D. Z., Dresselhaus, M. S., Chen, G., and Ren, Z. F., Nano Letters (2009) (in press)Google Scholar
12 Joshi, G., Lee, H., Lan, Y. C., Wang, X. W., Zhu, G. H., Wang, D. Z., Gould, R.W., Cuff, D. C., Tang, M. Y., Dresselhaus, M. S., Chen, G., and Ren, Z. F., Nano Letters 8, 2580 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13 Wang, X. W., Lee, H., Lan, Y. C., Zhu, G. H., G. Joshi, Wang, D. Z., Yang, J., Muto, A. J., Tang, M. Y., Klatsky, J., Song, S., Dresselhaus, M. S., Chen, G., and Ren, Z. F., Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 193121 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
14 Zhao, X. B., Ji, X. H., Zhang, Y. H., Zhu, T. J., Tu, J. P., and Zhang, X. B., Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 062111 (2005).Google Scholar
15 Tang, X. F., Xie, W. J., Li, H., Zhao, W. Y., and Zhang, Q. J., Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 012102 (2007).Google Scholar
16 Harman, T. C., Miller, S. E., and Goeing, H. L., Bull. Amer. Phys. Soc. 30, 35, (1955).Google Scholar
17 Thonhauser, T., Jeon, G. S., Mahan, G. D., and Sofo, J. O., Phys. Rev. B. 68, 205207 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 11 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 5th December 2020. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-b4dcdd7-z76xg Total loading time: 1.768 Render date: 2020-12-05T09:41:26.431Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags last update: Sat Dec 05 2020 09:00:44 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time) Feature Flags: { "metrics": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "peerReview": true, "crossMark": true, "comments": true, "relatedCommentaries": true, "subject": true, "clr": false, "languageSwitch": true }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit by a Nanostructure Approach
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit by a Nanostructure Approach
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Figure-of-Merit by a Nanostructure Approach
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *