AMG NewTech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-Depth Market Research and Trend Analysis

Covering Innovative and Emerging Technologies

News

Advanced Materials


The market for thermoelectric materials is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 27.3% through 2020.

 

Although the thermoelectric effect was discovered almost 200 years ago, thermoelectric materials have been experiencing strong renewed interest in recent years thanks to the development of advanced materials with increased thermoelectric efficiency and lower production costs.

 

Thermoelectric materials, which can be used for direct conversion of heat into electrical energy, or viceversa, are particularly appealing for energy harvesting applications. For example, these materials can be used to obtain power from the heat generated by combustion engines, manufacturing processes and equipment, or the human body.

 

A material’s thermoelectric efficiency is measured by the dimensionless factor (thermoelectric figure of merit) ZT = S2/k)T, where σ, S, k, and T are the electrical conductivity, the Seebeck coefficient (or thermoelectric power), the thermal conductivity, and the operating temperature, respectively. As a reference, bismuth telluride, a well-known thermoelectric material, has a ZT value of 1.0 at room temperature. However, bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) has not gained widespread popularity primarily due to its high production cost.

 

To exhibit high thermoelectric efficiency, a material must be characterized by both high electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity. Typically, those materials that have good electrical conductivity are also good thermal conductors. Advances in material science during the past ten years have led to the development of various formulations with relatively high ZT values. They are summarized in the table below.

 

At the indicated temperature, the ZT value for that particular material reaches the reported peak value. Materials with ZT values equal to or greater than 1 are attracting particular interest; although, in an effort to make thermoelectricity more competitive with alternative technologies, the objective of current research is to obtain ZT values closer to 3.

 

In April 2014, Nature reported that scientists at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) discovered a ZT value of 2.6 at 923 K in SnSe single crystals along the b axis of the room-temperature orthorhombic unit cell.

 


 

 Thermoelectric materials with high ZT values.

 

Material

Peak

 ZT value

Temperature (K)

p-Type

 

 

Sb2Te3

1.0

300

Bis-dithienothiophene

1.5

300

AgPbSnSbTe

1.5

630

NaPbSbTe

1.7

650

PbTe

1.0

700

PbSe

1.0

700

Ni-doped tetrahedrite (CuSbS)

1.0

          700

TeAgGeSb (TAGS)

1.2

          700

Tl-doped SnTe

1.3

          700

Zn4Sb3

1.4

          700

Tl-doped PbTe

1.5

          700

Sb2Te3 –based alloys

1.7

700

Na-doped PbTe

1.4

750

K-doped PbTeSe

1.6

775

NaCo2O4 (single crystals)

  1.2

 800

SrTe-doped PbTe

1.7

800

PbS/Na-doped PbTe

1.8

800

PbS-doped PbSe

1.3

900

SrTe/Na-doped PbTe

2.2

900

Barium-doped BiCuSeO

  1.1

  920

Metal sulfide-doped PbS

  1.2

  920

SnSe single crystals

  2.6

  920

Nanostructured Cu2Se

  2.0

  975

MnSb-based alloys

1.1

        1,200

 

 

 

n-Type

 

 

Bi2Te3

1.0

300

Bi2Te3 nanocomposites

1.5

375

CuBiTeSe

1.1

          400

AgSbTe2/PbTe

1.7

          700

Mg2(Si,Sn)

1.3

          700

Ge/Bi-doped Mg2(Si,Sn)

 1.4

  800

Sr/Ba/Yb-doped skutterudites

1.9

 835

Nanostructured P-doped SiGe

1.5

 900

SiGe nanowires

1.6

        1,200

 

 

    Source: AMG NewTech



The global market for thermoelectric materials is currently very small and estimated to reach $3 million in 2015, but it is forecast to grow at a rapid CAGR of 27.3% during the next five years.

 

 

Back to Main Topics

 

 


Keywords: thermoelectric, heat to electricity, conversion, materials, market 

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)