Preface to Special Topic: Thermoelectric Materials
Author(s)Zebarjadi, Mona; Chen, Gang
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Thermoelectric power generators are solid-state devices, which can directly convert heat into electricity. Their clean and environmentally friendly operation makes them attractive in applications such as power generation and heat pumping. Thermoelectric devices have been invented more than 70 years ago, however their commercial applications remained limited due to their low energy conversion efficiency. The main limiting factor in thermoelectric devices is the quality factor of the materials used. The efficiency of the thermoelectric energy conversion is an increasing function of the materials’ nondimensional figure of merit, ZT = σS[superescript 2]T/κ, where σ is the electrical conductivity, S the Seebeck coefficient, T the temperature and κ the thermal conductivity.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Zebarjadi, Mona, and Gang Chen. “Preface to Special Topic: Thermoelectric Materials.” APL Materials 4, no. 10 (October 2016): 104401.
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