Development and Application of an Instrument for Spatially Resolved Seebeck Coefficient Measurements

Andriy Zakutayev, Frank J. Luciano IV, Vincent P. Bollinger, Ajaya K. Sigdel, Paul F. Ndione, John D. Perkins, Joseph J. Berry, Philip A. Parilla, David S. Ginley

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34 Scopus Citations


The Seebeck coefficient is a key indicator of the majority carrier type (electrons or holes) in a material. The recent trend toward the development of combinatorial materials research methods has necessitated the development of a new high-throughput approach to measuring the Seebeck coefficient at spatially distinct points across any sample. The overall strategy of the high-throughput experiments is to quickly identify the region of interest on the sample at some expense of accuracy, and then study this region by more conventional techniques. The instrument for spatially resolved Seebeck coefficient measurements reported here relies on establishing a temperature difference across the entire compositionally graded thin-film and consecutive mapping of the resulting voltage as a function of position, which facilitates the temperature-dependent measurements up to 400 °C. The results of the designed instrument are verified at ambient temperature to be repeatable over 10 identical samples and accurate to within 10% versus conventional Seebeck coefficient measurements over the -100 to +150 μV/K range using both n-type and p-type conductive oxides as test cases. The developed instrument was used to determine the sign of electrical carriers of compositionally graded Zn-Co-O and Ni-Co-O libraries prepared by combinatorial sputtering. As a result of this study, both cobalt-based materials were determined to have p-type conduction over a broad single-phase region of chemical compositions and small variation of the Seebeck coefficient over the entire investigated range of compositions and temperature.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number053905
Number of pages9
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-58349


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