The choice of the appropriate metallizing layer for high-temperature thermoelectric (TE) materials is a tricky task and poses varied challenges to researchers. In this work, a n type TiAl metallizing layer (90% Ti with 10% Al by weight with a copper foil) is proposed for a Yb 0.2Co 4Sb 12 skutterudite (SK) TE material coupled with a standard ‘p type’ SK base of Nd 0.45Ce 0.45Fe 3.5Co 0.5Sb 12 with a 60:12:28% Fe:Ni:Cr metallizing layer. The n type and p type nanostructured SK powders are sintered at high temperatures and pressures in a DC hot press from which a TE device is assembled using diced, polished and property characterized TE legs (high figure of merit zT of 1.4 for n type and 1.2 for p type, respectively). The device is evaluated for functional degradation with repeated cycling to 500°C hot side (HS) and 50°C cold side (CS) temperatures in a specially designed high-vacuum test rig with key TE properties like peak power, open circuit voltage, and material internal resistance continuously recorded over each cycle. The device shows stable performance with <7% drop in TE harvested power over ~2500 thermal cycles. With the industry benchmark for evaluating TE device performance being around 1000 thermal cycles (<10% drop in TE power over time), the study indicates stable performance of the n type TiAl metallizing layer over the device lifetime.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering