New method significantly improves conversion efficiency of thermoelectric materials

The reporter learned from Hefei University of Technology that the scientific staff of the school pioneered the use of melt processing methods to regulate the solidification microstructure of thermoelectric materials, achieving a significant increase in the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of such materials, and opening up high-performance thermoelectric materials for batch production and rapid production. New path. His series of research results have been published in the internationally renowned periodical “Nano Energy”.

Thermoelectric material is a kind of functional material that can realize the mutual conversion of thermal energy and electric energy. It can use industrial, domestic residual heat or natural heat for thermoelectric power generation, and can also realize thermoelectric refrigeration, and its thermoelectric conversion process does not require special machinery and has no vibration and noise. The advantages of zero green emissions have become the focus of energy and environmental strategies in various countries. Excellent thermoelectric materials should have high Sayrel's coefficient and conductivity, and low thermal conductivity; because three kinds of performance parameters inherently restrict each other, if one of the properties is optimized, other properties will be affected, so the thermoelectric conversion efficiency is difficult to improve significantly. .

Prof. Zufang Fang and his team at the College of Materials Science and Engineering of Hefei University of Engineering Co., Ltd. accumulated long-term basic research on the state change of liquid substances, and created a melt processing method to prepare thermoelectric materials to control the solidification microstructure and significantly reduce the thermal conductivity. It also significantly increases the Seebeck coefficient, while the electrical conductivity is not substantially lost, achieving a synergistic optimization of electrical and thermal properties.

Studies have shown that using this original method, the thermoelectric conversion efficiency (ZT) of P-type (positively charged) semiconductors can be increased by 27%, and ZT values ​​of N-type (negatively charged) semiconductors can also be improved. At the highest level of this type of thermoelectric material today. At the same time, the method can directly obtain the bulk material through the solidification method, which overcomes the disadvantages of the conventional methods that usually require complicated preparation and subsequent processing, and is of great significance for promoting the industrial production and wide application of the thermoelectric material. (Reporter Wu Changfeng correspondent Zhou Hui)

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