Title

Improving Efficiency In Thermoelectric Materials: 3D Printing and the Linseis System

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Chemistry

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

TE (thermoelectric) materials generate electricity from obtaining a temperature gradient, or vice versa. As such, possible applications include efficient cooling with minimal electricity, or extensive power generation using heat. If utilized, most waste heat from traditional energy generation could be preserved and reused as electricity. But, TE materials are currently inefficient. The measure for the capacity for these materials to convert between electricity and heat is ZT, the "figure of merit." Most TE materials have a ZT of ~1-2, but for them to be useful, they would need a ZT of ~3-4. So: how to raise ZT? As for methodology in this research, acquiring a ZT value requires a Linseis device (thermal analysis machine) to measure all viable parameters (Seebeck coefficient, resistance, resistivity, and temperature gradient). Then, the Linseis device calculates a ZT value. Modifying TE materials changes ZT. First introducing p- and n-type doping into common TE materials (by adding impurities on a nanoscale: ball milling), then 3D Printing identical disks from different polymers and combining with the doped materials, led to differences in ZT. Specifically, we found results of ZT values in the lower range (0.5, 1.5) for many polymers, but doped graphene yielded a ZT of 2.34. Although the best result is not useful in industry (ZT of 2.34 is not ~3-4), the methodology of using TE materials with 3D Printing allows for others to test new TE materials faster (Linseis requires disks to test), allowing for better improvements of ZT in the field.

Location

Furman Hall 108

Start Date

3-28-2020 2:00 PM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 2:00 PM

Improving Efficiency In Thermoelectric Materials: 3D Printing and the Linseis System

Furman Hall 108

TE (thermoelectric) materials generate electricity from obtaining a temperature gradient, or vice versa. As such, possible applications include efficient cooling with minimal electricity, or extensive power generation using heat. If utilized, most waste heat from traditional energy generation could be preserved and reused as electricity. But, TE materials are currently inefficient. The measure for the capacity for these materials to convert between electricity and heat is ZT, the "figure of merit." Most TE materials have a ZT of ~1-2, but for them to be useful, they would need a ZT of ~3-4. So: how to raise ZT? As for methodology in this research, acquiring a ZT value requires a Linseis device (thermal analysis machine) to measure all viable parameters (Seebeck coefficient, resistance, resistivity, and temperature gradient). Then, the Linseis device calculates a ZT value. Modifying TE materials changes ZT. First introducing p- and n-type doping into common TE materials (by adding impurities on a nanoscale: ball milling), then 3D Printing identical disks from different polymers and combining with the doped materials, led to differences in ZT. Specifically, we found results of ZT values in the lower range (0.5, 1.5) for many polymers, but doped graphene yielded a ZT of 2.34. Although the best result is not useful in industry (ZT of 2.34 is not ~3-4), the methodology of using TE materials with 3D Printing allows for others to test new TE materials faster (Linseis requires disks to test), allowing for better improvements of ZT in the field.