Thermoelectric devices and materials

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Preserving the large power factor of carbon nanotubes is challenging, due to poor sample morphology and a lack of proper Fermi energy tuning. Here, the authors achieve a value of power factor of 14 ± 5 mW m−1 K−2 originating from the preserved conductivity and the ability to tune Fermi energy.

    • Natsumi Komatsu
    • , Yota Ichinose
    •  & Junichiro Kono
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Performance of Si nanowires as thermoelectrics are evaluated only from cryogenic to ambient temperatures and ZT has remained low. Here, the authors systematically optimized the synthesis method and improved the suspended microdevice platform to achieve high-performance thermoelectrics up to 700 K.

    • Lin Yang
    • , Daihong Huh
    •  & Ravi S. Prasher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Band convergence is a strategy to enhance a material’s thermoelectric performance, as it increases the charge carrier concentration for a given Fermi level. Here, the authors find that the benefit of band convergence can be negated by interband scattering depending on the manner in which bands converge.

    • Junsoo Park
    • , Maxwell Dylla
    •  & Anubhav Jain
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The synergism of entropy engineering and the typical optimization mechanisms in high-entropy-stabilized chalcogenide is unknown. Here, the authors find high-entropy-stabilized composition works as a promising matrix of applying synergistic effect to realize high thermoelectric performance.

    • Binbin Jiang
    • , Yong Yu
    •  & Jiaqing He
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though earth abundant magnesium-based materials are attractive for thermoelectrics (TEs) due to their device-level performance, realizing efficient modules remains a challenge. Here, the authors report a scalable route to realizing Mg-based compounds for high performance TE modules.

    • Pingjun Ying
    • , Ran He
    •  & Gabi Schierning
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the potential of incorporating thermoelectric (TE) fibers into textile electronics for green energy harvesting, existing fabrication methods are not commercially viable. Here, the authors report a scalable gelation extrusion fabrication strategy for realizing alternating p/n-type TE fibers.

    • Tianpeng Ding
    • , Kwok Hoe Chan
    •  & Ghim Wei Ho
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though flexible thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are attractive for energy harvesting applications, existing devices show low efficiency due to heat loss and poor thermal contact. Here, the authors report high-performance conformable TEGs with stretchable interconnects and soft heat conductors.

    • Byeongmoon Lee
    • , Hyeon Cho
    •  & Seungjun Chung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Achieved high thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in organic thermoelectric materials remains a challenge due to their low packing order and poor host/dopant miscibility. Here, the authors report side chain-engineered n-doped fullerene derivatives with record ZT >0.3 for organic thermoelectrics.

    • Jian Liu
    • , Bas van der Zee
    •  & L. Jan Anton Koster
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermoelectric generators with a small size are unable to produce enough high voltage and power levels to run Si integrated circuits using commonly encountered temperature differences. Here, the authors present microelectronic thermoelectric generators using Si0.97Ge0.03 to solve the problem.

    • Ruchika Dhawan
    • , Prabuddha Madusanka
    •  & Mark Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Designing a scalable platform to generate electricity from the energy exchange mechanism between two surfaces separated by nanometer distances remains a challenge. Here, the authors demonstrate reconfigurable, scalable and fully integrated near-field thermo-photovoltaics for on-demand heat recycling.

    • Gaurang R. Bhatt
    • , Bo Zhao
    •  & Michal Lipson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Obtaining a complete picture for charge transport in conducting polymers is vital to designing new organic electronic materials. Here, the authors show that a gaussian density of states clarifies the transport physics in conducting polymers by revealing the role of carrier scattering on transport.

    • Anas Abutaha
    • , Pawan Kumar
    •  & Kedar Hippalgaonkar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite recent advances in flexible thermoelectric generators for wearable devices, current designs are unable to efficiently harvest heat flowing from human body. Here, the authors report high thermoelectric performance and stretchability in interlocked fiber-based modules for wearable devices.

    • Tingting Sun
    • , Beiying Zhou
    •  & Gerald Jeffrey Snyder
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spin caloritronics offers advantages for the thermal management of spintronic devices. Here, the authors demonstrate that the direction of heat currents generated by spin-caloritronic phenomena can be changed by illuminating magnetic materials with visible light.

    • Jian Wang
    • , Yukiko K. Takahashi
    •  & Ken-ichi Uchida
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recovery of low-grade heat can aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but heat-to-electricity conversion technologies should be optimized. Here the authors report a direct thermal charging cell that uses asymmetric electrodes and a redox electrolyte to efficiently convert low-grade heat into electricity.

    • Xun Wang
    • , Yu-Ting Huang
    •  & Shien-Ping Feng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wearable thermoelectric coolers (TECs), whose performance depends on optimal module design and environmental thermal resistance, are an attractive next-generation technology for on-body applications. Here, the authors report an optimized wearable TEC with 170% higher cooling than commercial devices.

    • Ravi Anant Kishore
    • , Amin Nozariasbmarz
    •  & Shashank Priya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Tsunehiro Takeuchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Kedar Hippalgaonkar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To realize waste heat recovery solutions based on thermoelectricity, high-performance materials with device and manufacturing compatibility are required. Here, the authors demonstrate large-area paper-like nanostructured fabrics consisting of aligned nanotubes with high thermoelectric performance.

    • Alex Morata
    • , Mercè Pacios
    •  & Albert Tarancón
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mixed ionic–electronic conductors are limited by material decomposition. Here the authors reveal the mechanism for atom migration and deposition in Cu2–δ(S,Se) materials based on a critical chemical potential difference and propose electronically conducting, ion-blocking interfaces to enhance stability.

    • Pengfei Qiu
    • , Matthias T. Agne
    •  & G. Jeffrey Snyder
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The accelerated growth of thermoelectric technology that efficiently converts waste heat to electricity necessitates the development of high-performance materials. Here, the authors experimentally demonstrate a 2D electron system with enhanced two-dimensionality and thermoelectric power factor.

    • Yuqiao Zhang
    • , Bin Feng
    •  & Hiromichi Ohta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Knowledge of the electronic structure of group-IV monochalcogenides is essential for their application in high-performance thermoelectric energy harvesting. Here, using photoemission spectroscopy, the authors reveal the impact of doping, and the anisotropic nature of the band structure of SnSe.

    • Zhen Wang
    • , Congcong Fan
    •  & Yi Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermal rectification is instrumental to achieving active heat flow control and energy harvesting in nanoscale devices. Here, the authors demonstrate thermal rectification in asymmetric graphene nanostructures, achieving a large rectification factor up to 26%.

    • Haidong Wang
    • , Shiqian Hu
    •  & Jie Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermoelectric modules can generate electricity directly from heat and have applications to waste heat-energy conversion. Here Zhouet al. have fabricated a thermoelectric module based on an air-stable n-type single-walled carbon nanotube sheet which can reach a high power factor of 1500 μWm−1K−2.

    • Wenbin Zhou
    • , Qingxia Fan
    •  & Sishen Xie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Thermoelectric devices are often rigid and do not adapt conformally to surfaces. Here, Park et al. prepare a Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric paint, containing a Sb2Te3chalcogenidometalate additive, that can be paint-brushed onto curved surfaces and form thermoelectric modules with good efficiencies.

    • Sung Hoon Park
    • , Seungki Jo
    •  & Jae Sung Son
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In photovoltaics, sub-band gap energy photons can be harvested using up-conversion strategies. Here, the authors show that the thermally enhanced up-converted photoluminescence results in enhanced energy conversion, for an accessible temperature range and with a broad range of incident photon energy.

    • Assaf Manor
    • , Nimrod Kruger
    •  & Carmel Rotschild
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Direct measurement of electron-phonon interactions at the single-mode level has been a challenge. Here, Liaoet al. use a three-pulse photoacoustic spectroscopy technique to investigate the damping of a single sub-terahertz coherent phonon mode by photo-excited free charge carriers in silicon at room temperature.

    • Bolin Liao
    • , A. A. Maznev
    •  & Gang Chen