Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Pooja Puneet


Terry M. Tritt

Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 2013


Among various static energy conversion technologies, the thermoelectric (TE) energy conversion has gained the most interest due to their ability to directly convert waste heat into electricity. TE materials can be used for power generation as well as cooling applications. NASA has been using high temperature TE materials (PbTe, SiGe, etc) for several years to power radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) in space missions. On the other hand, Bi-based materials have been of great interest to the TE community with optimum efficiency near room temperatures for cooling and low temperature power generation applications. One of the main objectives to design an efficient TE material is to suppress the phonon conduction without significantly deteriorating electrical conduction through the system. A brief discussion of the selection criterion to achieve this goal and challenges will be presented along with the traditional as well as newer approaches for optimizing performance of these materials.