Thermoelectrics

Thermoelectrics are materials that can generate electricity from the application of a temperature gradient, or vice versa, through the thermoelectric effect. By exploiting this coupling between thermal and electrical properties, thermoelectric devices can be made that carry heat from a cold to a hot side (refrigeration) or that generate electricity from heat flows.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Despite significant efforts to improve the thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline SnSe, precise control of texturing and doping is a challenge. Here, the authors report hole doped and highly textured SnSe thin films prepared by low cost, scalable solution processing.

    • Seung Hwae Heo
    • , Seungki Jo
    • , Hyo Seok Kim
    • , Garam Choi
    • , Jae Yong Song
    • , Jun-Yun Kang
    • , No-Jin Park
    • , Hyeong Woo Ban
    • , Fredrick Kim
    • , Hyewon Jeong
    • , Jaemin Jung
    • , Jaeyoung Jang
    • , Won Bo Lee
    • , Hosun Shin
    •  & Jae Sung Son
  • Research | | open

    Although flexible thermoelectric materials based on conducting polymers are attractive for energy harvesting, their performance is inferior to their inorganic counterparts. Here, the authors present a facile method to deliver inorganic nanowire films with high power factor and flexibility.

    • Yufei Ding
    • , Yang Qiu
    • , Kefeng Cai
    • , Qin Yao
    • , Song Chen
    • , Lidong Chen
    •  & Jiaqing He
  • Research | | open

    The discovery of thermodynamically stable thermoelectric materials for power generation has relied on empirical methods that were not effective. Here, the authors apply the inverse design approach to identify and experimentally realize TaFeSb-based half Heuslers with high thermoelectric performance.

    • Hangtian Zhu
    • , Jun Mao
    • , Yuwei Li
    • , Jifeng Sun
    • , Yumei Wang
    • , Qing Zhu
    • , Guannan Li
    • , Qichen Song
    • , Jiawei Zhou
    • , Yuhao Fu
    • , Ran He
    • , Tian Tong
    • , Zihang Liu
    • , Wuyang Ren
    • , Li You
    • , Zhiming Wang
    • , Jun Luo
    • , Andrei Sotnikov
    • , Jiming Bao
    • , Kornelius Nielsch
    • , Gang Chen
    • , David J. Singh
    •  & Zhifeng Ren
  • Research | | open

    Recent research efforts have aimed at discovering thermoelectric materials with high efficiency in the middle-low temperature range, where a majority of waste heat is lost to the ambient. Here, the authors discover colossal Seebeck coefficient values in metallic copper selenide from 340 K to 400 K.

    • Dogyun Byeon
    • , Robert Sobota
    • , Kévin Delime-Codrin
    • , Seongho Choi
    • , Keisuke Hirata
    • , Masahiro Adachi
    • , Makoto Kiyama
    • , Takashi Matsuura
    • , Yoshiyuki Yamamoto
    • , Masaharu Matsunami
    •  & Tsunehiro Takeuchi
  • Research | | open

    To realize the potential of soft hybrid (inorganic-organic) materials for thermoelectrics, the underlying transport-related physics must be understood. Here, the authors extend the Kang-Synder framework with experimental analysis to gain insight on the thermoelectric transport in hybrid materials.

    • Pawan Kumar
    • , Edmond W. Zaia
    • , Erol Yildirim
    • , D. V. Maheswar Repaka
    • , Shuo-Wang Yang
    • , Jeffrey J. Urban
    •  & Kedar Hippalgaonkar

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Thermoelectric devices convert heat flows into electricity. Researchers recently demonstrated that thermoelectric materials can be produced in good quality by 3D printing, enabling a low-cost production process in the near future.

    • Jan D. Koenig
    Nature Energy 3, 259-260
  • News and Views |

    One third of industrial processes occur at high temperatures above 1300 K, but current methods of waste heat recovery at these temperatures are limited. Now, reduced graphene oxide is shown to be a highly efficient and reliable thermoelectric material up to 3000 K.

    • Gabi Schierning
    Nature Energy 3, 92-93