Improved Mechanical Strength and Thermoelectric Performance in Metal Chalcogenide MQ (M=Ge, Sn, Pb and Q=S, Se, Te) Based Compositions

Research output: Patent


Improved Lead-Based Eutectic Composite NU 2007-079, 2009-047 and 2009-107 Inventors Mercouri G. Kanatzidis* Joseph R. Sootsman Steven N. Girard Qichun Zhang Kaniska Biswas Short Description Lead-based composite material for conversion of waste heat into electrical energy #energy #materials #thermoelectric #composite #metals Abstract Thermoelectric devices such as power generators, heat pumps, coolers and thermal sensors have several advantages over traditional energy converting systems. These devices are portable, reliable and environmentally friendly. However, their efficiency of energy conversion is low compared to current alternatives and this impedes their widespread use. In order to increase energy conversion efficiency, new materials with advantageous thermoelectric properties must be generated. The Kanatzidis group at Northwestern University has invented a new class of thermoelectric composite materials, which display very high conversion efficiencies. To design these materials, researchers inserted nano- and micro-structured islands of PbSnS2 into the lead-telluride bulk material. The resulting composites display extremely high-energy conversion efficiencies and are mechanically stronger then the starting materials. Therefore, these novel lead-based eutectic composites may find uses outside of energy conversion devices. Applications o Internal combustion engines (conversion of heat into energy) o Automobiles and trucks o Nuclear reactors Advantages o Improved thermoelectric performance o Increased mechanical integrity Publications Sootsman JR, Kong H, Uher C, Wu C-I, Hogan TP, Caillat T, Kanatzidis MG. Large Enhancemens in the Thermoelectric Power Factor of Bult PbTe at High Temperature by Synergistic Nanostructuring (2008). Angew. Chem. 47(45): 8618-8622. Biswas K, He J, Zhang Q, Wang G, Uher C, Dravid VP, Kanatzidis MG. Strained Endotaxial Nanostructures with High Thermoelectric Figure of Merit (2011). Nat. Chem. 3(2): 160-166. IP Status Issued US patent number 8,277,677. An international patent application has been filed. Marketing Contact Chao Zhang, PhD Invention Manager (p) 847-491-4629 (e)
Original languageEnglish
Patent number8277677
StatePublished - Feb 4 2010


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