3 years ago

High Performance Thermoelectric Materials: Progress and Their Applications

High Performance Thermoelectric Materials: Progress and Their Applications
Jin Zou, Matthew S. Dargusch, Lei Yang, Zhi-Gang Chen
Thermoelectric (TE) materials have the capability of converting heat into electricity, which can improve fuel efficiency, as well as providing robust alternative energy supply in multiple applications by collecting wasted heat, and therefore, assisting in finding new energy solutions. In order to construct high performance TE devices, superior TE materials have to be targeted via various strategies. The development of high performance TE devices can broaden the market of TE application and eventually boost the enthusiasm of TE material research. This review focuses on major novel strategies to achieve high-performance TE materials and their applications. Manipulating the carrier concentration and band structures of materials are effective in optimizing the electrical transport properties, while nanostructure engineering and defect engineering can greatly reduce the thermal conductivity approaching the amorphous limit. Currently, TE devices are utilized to generate power in remote missions, solar–thermal systems, implantable or/wearable devices, the automotive industry, and many other fields; they are also serving as temperature sensors and controllers or even gas sensors. The future tendency is to synergistically optimize and integrate all the effective factors to further improve the TE performance, so that highly efficient TE materials and devices can be more beneficial to daily lives. The goal of current studies of thermoelectric materials is to identify novel thermoelectric materials and to enhance their performance by applying appropriate strategies, which targets on manipulating individual effective factors or synergistically optimizing the overall performance, broadens the device application of thermoelectric materials, and boosts the market growth.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201701797

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