Toward High Conversion Efficiency of Thermoelectric Modules Through Synergistical Optimization of Layered Materials

Weijie Li, Bed Poudel, Ravi Kishore, Amin Nozariasbmarz, Na Liu, Yu Zhang, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Waste-heat electricity generation using high-efficiency solid-state conversion technology can significantly decrease dependence on fossil fuels. Here, a synergistical optimization of layered half-Heusler (hH) materials and module to improve thermoelectric conversion efficiency is reported. This is realized by manufacturing multiple thermoelectric materials with major compositional variations and temperature-gradient-coupled carrier distribution by one-step spark plasma sintering. This strategy provides a solution to overcome the intrinsic concomitants of the conventional segmented architecture that only considers the matching of the figure of merit (zT) with the temperature gradient. The current design is dedicated to temperature-gradient-coupled resistivity and compatibility matching, optimum zT matching, and reducing contact resistance sources. By enhancing the quality factor of the materials by Sb-vapor-pressure-induced annealing, a superior zT of 1.47 at 973 K is achieved for (Nb, Hf)FeSb hH alloys. Along with the low-temperature high-zT hH alloys of (Nb, Ta, Ti, V)FeSb, the single stage layered hH modules are developed with efficiencies of ≈15.2% and ≈13.5% for the single-leg and unicouple thermoelectric modules, respectively, under ΔT of 670 K. Therefore, this work has a transformative impact on the design and development of next-generation thermoelectric generators for any thermoelectric material families.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2210407
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Materials
Volume35
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-85883

Keywords

  • conversion efficiency
  • half-Heusler alloy
  • layered materials
  • pressure-induced annealing
  • synergistical optimization
  • thermoelectric

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