Molten Semiconductors for High Temperature Thermoelectricity

TitleMolten Semiconductors for High Temperature Thermoelectricity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsZhao, Y, Rinzler, C, Allanore, A
JournalEcs Journal of Solid State Science and Technology
PaginationN3010 - N3016
Date Published2017///
ISBN Number2162-8769
Keywordselectrical-conductivity, electronic-properties, melts, ni-s, power, sulfide, systems, tellurium, thallium, thermal-conductivity

High temperature (> 900 degrees C) industrial waste heat recovery remains a key challenge for thermoelectric materials. The unique combination of high temperature, low heat-flux, and large surface area of waste heat generation as analyzed herein shows that active materials cost is the main metric inhibiting application. Molten compounds with semiconducting properties are therefore proposed as a cost-effective addition to solid-state materials for these conditions. A review of prior experimental results is presented, after which we demonstrate the performance of a laboratory-scale device based on molten SnS. The results allow reporting, for the first time, the Figure of Merit (ZT) and the conversion efficiency of the candidate materials. In addition, the Seebeck coefficient of molten SnS is reported. The results confirm the opportunity offered by molten thermoelectric compounds and allow discussion of the remaining materials and engineering challenges that need to be tackled in order to envision the future deployment of thermoelectric devices based on molten semiconductors. (C) The Author(s) 2016. Published by ECS.

Short TitleECS J. Solid State Sci. Technol.