Thermoelectric composite with improved mechanical and transport properties

Power factor improvement on left panel, crack arresting on right panel

Synthesis of the composite of the high performance Yb₁₄MgSb₁₁ thermoelectric phase with iron to improve mechanical and transport properties

Thermoelectric materials have been used to provide electricity to spacecraft for decades. In this work the Kauzlarich lab (Perez, et al., ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2020) in collaboration with Thermal Energy Conversion Research and Advancement Group at NASA-JPL have shown that Yb₁₄MgSb₁₁, one of the candidates for NASA’s next generation of thermoelectric materials, can be composited with iron without reaction upon thermal cycling. Compositing results in higher purity materials that are more mechanically robust and have a 40% increase in thermoelectric power factor with a small increase in thermoelectric efficiency.

More information can be found at: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsaem.9b02168