Development of Thermoelectric Cooling Devices with Graded Structure
Every thermoelectric material shows high performance at a specific narrow temperature range. The temperature range with high performance can be expanded by joining the materials with different peak temperature. This is the concept of a functionally graded material (FGM) for thermoelectric materials. Bismuth telluride is the best material for cooling devices at around room temperature. Then we investigated the thermoelectric cooling properties for bismuth telluride with two step graded structure. FGM samples were fabricated by three methods. The first FGM was synthesized by in situ method. The second one was fabricated by joining in a hot-press equipment. The last one was composed by joining with solder. Thermoelectric cooling properties were evaluated by observing the maximum temperature drop to electric current when the high temperature side was kept constant. The large temperature difference was obtained when the proper configuration of thermoelectric materials along the temperature gradient were performed. The coincidence of optimum electrical currents of composing materials is also essential to obtain the high cooling performance.
Omer Van der Biest, Michael Gasik, Jozef Vleugels
H. Kohri and I. Shiota, "Development of Thermoelectric Cooling Devices with Graded Structure", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 492-493, pp. 151-156, 2005