Lead telluride alloy thermoelectrics

Aaron D. Lalonde*, Yanzhong Pei, Heng Wang, G. Jeffrey Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

286 Scopus citations

Abstract

The opportunity to use solid-state thermoelectrics for waste heat recovery has reinvigorated the field of thermoelectrics in tackling the challenges of energy sustainability. While thermoelectric generators have decades of proven reliability in space, from the 1960s to the present, terrestrial uses have so far been limited to niche applications on Earth because of a relatively low material efficiency. Lead telluride alloys were some of the first materials investigated and commercialized for generators but their full potential for thermoelectrics has only recently been revealed to be far greater than commonly believed. By reviewing some of the past and present successes of PbTe as a thermoelectric material we identify the issues for achieving maximum performance and successful band structure engineering strategies for further improvements that can be applied to other thermoelectric materials systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Today
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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