Research Papers: Experimental Techniques

Heat Transfer in Thermoelectric Materials and Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Gang Chen

e-mail: gchen2@mit.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139

References cited in Figure 1 are [30,32,33,39,49,50,59,60,88,90,96].

References cited in Figure 2 are [122,125,128,129,131,133].

Manuscript received October 17, 2012; final manuscript received January 15, 2013; published online May 16, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Leslie Phinney.

J. Heat Transfer 135(6), 061605 (May 16, 2013) (15 pages) Paper No: HT-12-1576; doi: 10.1115/1.4023585 History: Received October 17, 2012; Revised January 15, 2013

Solid-state thermoelectric devices are currently used in applications ranging from thermocouple sensors to power generators in space missions, to portable air-conditioners and refrigerators. With the ever-rising demand throughout the world for energy consumption and CO2 reduction, thermoelectric energy conversion has been receiving intensified attention as a potential candidate for waste-heat harvesting as well as for power generation from renewable sources. Efficient thermoelectric energy conversion critically depends on the performance of thermoelectric materials and devices. In this review, we discuss heat transfer in thermoelectric materials and devices, especially phonon engineering to reduce the lattice thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials, which requires a fundamental understanding of nanoscale heat conduction physics.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Figure of merit ZT of selected state of the art thermoelectric materials versus temperature for (a) p-type and (b) n-type. (p-type: Si0.8Ge0.2 [33], Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 [88], 2% Tl-doped PbTe [59], Na-doped PbTe0.85Se0.15 [30], Na-doped PbTe-PbS 12% [90], half-Heusler Hf0.8Ti0.2CoSb0.8Sn0.2 [50]; n-type: Si0.8Ge0.2 [32], multifilled skutterudites BaxLayYbzCo4Sb12 [39], half-Heusler Hf0.75Ti0.25NiSn0.99Sb0.01 [49], 1% Al-doped PbSe [60], Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 [96].)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Thermal conductivity versus temperature from first-principles calculations (lines) and experimental measurements (symbols), and (b) normalized cumulative thermal conductivity as a function of phonon MFPs at 300 K from first-principles calculations for different bulk crystalline materials, Si [125], Ge [122], GaAs [131], ZrCoSb [129], PbTe [128], PbSe [128], and Bi [133]




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