Case 8631

PBTE-Based Quantum Dot Thermoelectric Materials

Keywords:

Quantum-dot superlattice (QDSL), Seebeck coefficient, Quantum dots

Applications:

Power generation systems, heating and/or cooling of materials, etc.

Problem:

Limited thermoelectric performance of current superlattice materials

Technology:

An enhancement in the Seeback coefficient and the thermoelectric power factor may occur for a suitable quantum dot superlattice (QDSL). In particular, an enhancement in the PbSeTe/PbTe QDSL system has been found. A QDSL includes layers of PbSeTe with quantum dots, and re-planarization layers of PbTe also with quantum dots. Experimental measurements show that the power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) can increase from 0.52 to 0.88 with the new material. The nanometer-sized dots can form automatically in the growth of the material due to the strain among layers, and the dot growth can be halted at the optimal dot physical size and dot area density.

Advantages:
  • Enhancement in thermoelectric performace
  • Low lattice thermal conductivity

Inventors:
  • Dr. Michael P. Walsh (Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Dr. Patrick J. Taylor (Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Dr. Theodore C. Harman (Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent No. 6444896 issued on September 3, 2002

Publications:

N/A

Last revised: November 8, 2010

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