Navigation Links
Researchers develop technique to convert thermoelectric material into high performance electricity
Date:11/19/2013

A team of Clemson University physicists consisting of nanomaterial scientists Apparao Rao and Ramakrishna Podila and thermoelectricians Terry Tritt, Jian He and Pooja Puneet worked synergistically through the newly established Clemson Nanomaterials Center to develop a novel technique of tailoring thermoelectric properties of n-type bismuth telluride for high thermoelectric performance.

Their findings were published in journal Scientific Reports.

The current US energy economy and environment are increasingly threatened by fast-dwindling domestic reserves of fossil fuel coupled with severe environmental impact of fossil fuel combustion. Highly-efficient thermoelectric devices are expected to provide clean energy technology-needs of the hour for US energy sustainability. This research is a step towards optimizing the device performance since it outlines a methodology to overcome a challenge that has "frustrated" thermoelectric researchers to date.

Thermoelectric (TE) devices convert waste heat into electricity through a unique material's property called the Seebeck effect. Basically, the Seebeck effect results in a voltage across the two ends of a TE material, akin to the voltage present across the two ends of a AA battery, when the TE material is properly exposed to the waste heat. In such devices, the efficiency of converting heat into electricity is governed by certain strongly coupled materials properties, viz., electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity. A functional TE device consists of multiple legs made up of p-type and n-type materials, just as a diode comprises of a p-n junction.

Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) is a layered material and can be viewed as a deck of playing cards, wherein each card is only a few atoms thick. Bi2Te3 is currently regarded as the state-of-the-art TE material with high efficiency for converting waste heat into electricity, and is therefore attractive for energy harvesting processes.

Traditional nanosizing methods failed to improve the performance of n-type Bi2Te3 since they simply downgrade all materials properties simultaneously. Therefore, Clemson researchers and colleagues developed a novel nanosizing method in which we first peel n-type Bi2Te3 into atomically thin-sheets (akin to graphene which is one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms) and reassemble them using a spark plasma sintering process.

The researchers found that that the above described two-step process of first separating the deck of cards into individual cards and then re-assembling them into a deck via spark plasma sintering does enable us to suitably tailor the materials properties of n-type Bi2Te3for high TE performance. In this approach, the so-called 'interfacial charged defects' are generated in the sintered n-type Bi2Te3 which not only improves its structural properties but also its thermoelectric efficiency over a wide temperature window, thus making it extremely compatible with p-type Bi2Te3 for manufacturing efficient TE devices.

The improved compatibility factor (demonstrated in this paper) is expected to open new possibilities for highly efficient TE devices. The fascinating and noteworthy element of this research is that defects, which often connote impurity and are associated with low performance or efficiency, can indeed be used to tune the properties of materials to our advantage.

Today's scientific community lacks a comprehensive understanding of defects, mainly due to the absence of methods that can controllably generate and manipulate defects. The future of this research will be aimed at developing tools to generate and study defects at a fundamental level which will in turn allow the researchers to optimize materials properties of not only TE materials but also of a new class of two-dimensional materials beyond the Nobel-winning graphene for energy generation and storage.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ramakrishna Podila
rpodila@g.clemson.edu
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. New England Biolabs Introduces Polbase, an Information Repository of Scientific Data for Polymerase Researchers
2. In new quantum-dot LED design, researchers turn troublesome molecules to their advantage
3. Multidisciplinary team of researchers develop world’s lightest material
4. Researchers shrink tumors and minimize side effects using tumor-homing peptide to deliver treatment
5. Innovative MetaMorph® NX Software Shatters Barriers Between Researchers and Image Analysis Goals with Exclusive Visual Workflow
6. UCLA researchers demonstrate fully printed carbon nanotube transistor circuits for displays
7. Penn and Brown researchers demonstrate earthquake friction effect at the nanoscale
8. Two Top Biological Imaging Centers Offer Powerful Free Online Tool to Researchers, Educators, and Public
9. Researchers develop one of the worlds smallest electronic circuits
10. MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
11. Researchers realize high-power, narrowband terahertz source at room temperature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers develop technique to convert thermoelectric material into high performance electricity
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has entered into a ... of its common stock to NantCell, Inc., a member ... sale of its common stock, NantCell has agreed to ... 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million in value, of ... to enter into this strategic agreement with NantCell," said ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology ... therapies in immuno-oncology, today announced the discovery and ... compounds that activate interferon response factor 3 (IRF3) ... immune-mediated tumor regression in a murine colon carcinoma ... demonstrated complete tumor regression to initial drug treatment ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... million in Series A financing and note conversion to ... products. Cool Planet is focused on developing products that ... raised nearly $30 million in the last 18 months. ... Coppel and North Bridge Venture Partners. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), ... Center (RGC), U.K. Biobank and GSK to generate genetic sequence ... resource. The initiative will enable researchers to gain valuable insights ... a wide range of serious and life threatening diseases. ... Genetic evidence ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/28/2017)... News solutions for biometrics, bag drop and New ADA-compliant kiosk ... At PTE 2017 ... Materna will present its complete end-to-end passenger journey, from ... benefit for passengers. To accelerate the whole passenger handling process, ... to take passengers through the complete integrated process with a ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a leader of ... elite iris biometric solution on the latest Qualcomm® ... at Mobile World Congress 2017 (February 27 ... in Hall 3, Stand 3E10. ... Haven™ security platform—a combination of hardware, software ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a community ... that it has received Laboratory Accreditation from the ... is presented to laboratories that meet stringent requirements ... scientifically rigorous processes. "Genos is committed ... laboratory practices. We,re honored to be receiving CAP ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):