Research Papers: Experimental Techniques

A High Temperature Instrument for Consecutive Measurements of Thermal Conductivity, Electrical Conductivity, and Seebeck Coefficient

[+] Author and Article Information
Sajad Yazdani, Hyun-Young Kim

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
Storrs, CT 06269

Michael Thompson Pettes

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
Storrs, CT 06269;
Materials Physics and Applications Division,
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT),
Los Alamos National Laboratory,
Los Alamos, NM 87545
e-mail: pettesmt@lanl.gov

1Sajad Yazdani and Hyun-Young Kim both contributed equally.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received August 10, 2018; final manuscript received April 9, 2019; published online May 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Ali Khounsary.

J. Heat Transfer 141(7), 071602 (May 17, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1520; doi: 10.1115/1.4043572 History: Received August 10, 2018; Revised April 09, 2019

A device for measuring a plurality of material properties is designed to include accurate sensors configured to consecutively obtain thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient of a single sample while maintaining a vacuum or inert gas environment. Four major design factors are identified as sample-heat spreader mismatch, radiation losses, parasitic losses, and sample surface temperature variance. The design is analyzed using finite element methods for high temperature ranges up to 1000 °C as well as ultra-high temperatures up to 2500 °C. A temperature uncertainty of 0.46% was estimated for a sample with cold and hot sides at 905.1 and 908.5 °C, respectively. The uncertainty at 1000 °C was calculated to be 0.7% for a ΔT of 5 °C between the hot and cold sides. The thermal conductivity uncertainty was calculated to be −8.6% at ∼900 °C for a case with radiative gains, and +8.2% at ∼1000 °C for a case with radiative losses, indicating the sensitivity of the measurement to the temperature of the thermal guard in relation to the heat spreader and sample temperature. Lower limits of −17 and −13% error in thermal conductivity measurements were estimated at the ultra-high temperature of ∼2500 °C for a single-stage and double-stage radiation shield, respectively. It is noted that this design is not limited to electro-thermal characterization and will enable measurement of ionic conductivity and surface temperatures of energy materials under realistic operating conditions in extreme temperature environments.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Overview of current electro-thermal property characterization methods in comparison with the approach proposed here. The properties that must be obtained to quantify device efficiency for thermal-to-electrical energy interconversion are the electrical conductivity (σ), thermal conductivity (κ), and Seebeck coefficient (S).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Schematic of the high temperature electro-thermal characterization apparatus showing axial thermocouples, heated radiation shield, and actively cooled heat sink. ((b) and (c)) Detail of the enabling design components. (d) A detailed top view of the instrument top heat spreader.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The heat flux through the sample for average temperatures of (a) T = 300 °C and (b) T = 1000 °C

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Fig. 4

(a) Temperature distribution across the instrument with the radiation shield temperature set at 909 °C. The upper surface boundary condition was set as thermally insulating and the lower surface was kept at 22 °C. (b) Detail of the temperature distribution across the outer surface of the top heat spreader with a maximum variation of 0.45 °C.

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Fig. 5

Temperature distribution for a pyroceram 9606 sample with a thermal conductivity of ∼2.9 W m−1 K−1 at 907 °C. (a) Hot side, (b) cold side, (c) isometric view, and (d) sample surface temperature variation along the radial direction exhibit a maximum value less than 0.01 °C above the center point temperature where the thermocouple contacts the sample.

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Fig. 6

Temperature distribution across the (a) top and (b) bottom thermocouples

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Temperature distribution across (a) the hot surface of the 12.7 mm diameter, 5 mm thick boron nitride sample and (b) the cold surface of the sample. The radiation shield upper and lower half setpoints were 2502 and 2490 °C, respectively. (c) Temperature variation across the radial direction on the sample for hot and cold sides illustrates a maximum variation of less than 0.23 °C above the center point temperature where the thermocouple contacts the sample. (d) Instrument temperature distribution.



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