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Probing thermopower on the microscale

Ziolkowski, P. and Karpinski, G. and Dasgupta, T. and Müller, E. (2013) Probing thermopower on the microscale. Physica Status Solidi (A) - Applications and Materials Science, 210 (1 ), pp. 89-105. Wiley. doi: 10.1002/pssa.201228512. ISSN 1862-6300.

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Thermoelectric (TE) generators provide electrical energy from direct conversion of heat by means of the Seebeck effect; without moving parts, completely silent, and with negligible maintenance. As any other heat engine this conversion exploits only a fraction of the Carnot efficiency (Rowe (ed.), CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics (CRC Press Inc., 1995), p. 19 1). The TE efficiency is linked to the thermoelectric figure of merit Z, which itself is given by basic material properties: Z = S2σ/κ. These are the electrical conductivity σ, the thermal conductivity κ and the Seebeck coefficient or thermopower S, which is known as the factor of proportionality between voltage output and applied temperature difference in a given TE sample. A distinct sensitivity to the carrier concentration and structural variations make the control and stabilisation of thermopower very challenging in complex material structures since degradation by diffusion, decomposition or evaporation can be observed in many cases during synthesis, operation and even in the process of characterisation of TE semiconductors; particularly at elevated temperatures. Investigating structural and compositional properties, stability, and performance of TE materials, and consequently aiming to understand their interaction, mainly methods like X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or integral temperature dependent measurements of particular transport properties are used. Although TE materials research satisfies highest requirements on accuracy, the above mentioned techniques are not perfectly qualified to investigate promising material classes thoroughly. Against the background of usually complex material structures this article aims to show, that an efficient characterisation of TE materials becomes accessible for several questions by use of a spatially resolved determination of the thermopower.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/85756/
Document Type:Article
Title:Probing thermopower on the microscale
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Ziolkowski, P.German Aerospace Center, Institute of Materials Research, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Karpinski, G.German Aerospace Center, Institute of Materials Research, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Dasgupta, T.German Aerospace Center, Institute of Materials Research, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Müller, E.German Aerospace Center, Institute of Materials Research, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2013
Journal or Publication Title:Physica Status Solidi (A) - Applications and Materials Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1002/pssa.201228512
Page Range:pp. 89-105
Keywords:homogeneity analysis; phase distribution; Seebeck microprobe; spatial resolution; standardisation; thermopower scanning
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Terrestrial Vehicles (old)
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V BF - Bodengebundene Fahrzeuge
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Project Fahrzeugenergiesysteme III (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Materials Research > Thermoelectric Materials and Systems
Deposited By: Zabrocki, Dr. Knud
Deposited On:27 Nov 2013 14:37
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:29

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