IntroductionIt is estimated that about 90% of the power generated in the world is by engines using combustion of fossil fuel with efficiencies of <40%. Consequently, about 1013 Watts are produced as waste heat to the environment. Thermoelectric (TE) functional materials can be utilized to directly convert waste heat energy into electric energy. The success of the TE materials in the utilization of waste heat is determined by the dimensionless figure of merit zT, which is defined as zT=(α2σT)/κ, where α, σ, κ, and T are, respectively, the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, total thermal conductivity, and absolute temperature. Efforts to increase the zT values focus, obviously, on increasing α and σ and decreasing κ. Investigations aimed at increasing zT for several classes of TE materials have been made. These include silicides, half‐Heuslers, and tellurides (e.g., those of Bi, Pb, and Ge). Of the silicides, that of magnesium, Mg2Si, and its solid solutions have received a great deal of attention as TE materials for energy conversion in the mid‐to‐high temperature range. This is, in part, due to their low cost, non‐toxicity, lightweight, and the abundance of their constituent elements.As indicated above, increasing the figure of merit requires increasing both the
Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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