Complex thermoelectric materials

G. Jeffrey Snyder*, Eric S. Toberer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6512 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advancements in synthesis and characterization techniques, particularly for nanoscale materials, have led to the development of complex thermoelectric materials that can generate electricity from waste heat and can play an important role in a global sustainable energy solution. To maximize the thermodynamic figure of merit of a material, a large thermopower (absolute value of the Seeback coefficient), high electric conductivity, and low thermal conductivity are required. These transport characteristics depend on interrelated material properties, thus it requires several parameters to be optimized to maximize thermoelectric figure of merit. A diverse array of new approaches, from complexity within the unit cell to nanostructured bulk and thin-film materials, have all led to high thermoelectric efficiency materials. Advances in thermoelectrics have also presented opportunity to replace compression-based refrigeration with solid-state Peltier coolers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalNature materials
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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