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Measurement Techniques for Thermoelectric Materials and Modules

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Tim Hogan
Affiliation:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Michigan State University 2120 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI 48824–1226
Sim Loo
Affiliation:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Michigan State University 2120 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI 48824–1226
Fu Guo
Affiliation:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Michigan State University 2120 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI 48824–1226
Jarrod Short
Affiliation:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Michigan State University 2120 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI 48824–1226
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Abstract

Thermoelectrics is a multidiscipline area of study, rich in condensed matter physics, chemistry, engineering, and material science. The figure of merit used for evaluating individual materials consists of three interdependent material properties. The measurement of these properties should be taken on the same sample for all three measurements, preferably simultaneously. Each of these measurements requires close attention to potential sources of losses for accurate analysis of the materials and testing of theoretical models. For example, relatively simple scanning measurement techniques can be used to gain insight into accurate geometry measurements and influences of contact dimensions. In addition, the field of thermoelectrics spans a wide temperature range, from cryogenic temperatures to > 1000 °C. This requires systems capable of large temperature variations, and/or multiple measurement systems for various ranges of interest. Additional measurements, such as Hall effect, help to gain further insight into the material properties and their optimization. The number and importance of measurements is further extended as the development of devices from these new materials is initiated, where studies of contact resistance and overall device performance must be evaluated. For mechanical robustness of fabricated modules, properties such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, and grain size for the new materials are of interest. Models for device behavior are useful in evaluating the measured results and further extracting material and device properties. In this paper, we review measurements used in evaluating bulk thermoelectric materials some of the information that can be extracted from these measurements, along with a model that can be used in conjunction with these measurements for module design.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2004

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References

REFERENCES

1. Hogan, T. P., Loo, S. Y., Guo, F., “Thermoelectric Measurements,” Proceedings of the 204th Electrochemical Ceramics Society Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2003.Google Scholar
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