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Seebeck coefficient (thermoelectric power) measurements

The ProboStat can be used to measure Seebeck coefficient in many ways. The standard method is to suspend a bar sample between two thermocouple tips and measure temperatures at both ends and then the sample voltage between the + or - leads of the thermocouples, or use separate electrodes for sample voltage measurement as in the picture.

Temperature gradient over the sample is either naturally occurring furnace gradient or one induced by small internal heater placed above the spring load top plate. This method can also be used in combination with 4-point conductivity measurement.

This method can be be done from ambient temperature up to 1600ºC, from vacuum to high pressure (high pressure option), with any type of gas atmosphere.

Best results are achieved with bar sample of 3-4 cm length. Sample may be of arbitary shape but it is easier to mount if the sample is bar shaped with longer length than cross section.Disc and thin film samples are not mounted as easily as bars and the electrode contacts may have to be glued (with Pt ink) to the side (since the film only covers the side and not the ends of the sample).

There is no clear limit how small samples can be measured, but as the sizes go smaller the mounting gets harder and more importantly the ratio between signal and error gets less favourable.

This method involves reading two thermocouple voltages and the sample voltage, converting the thermocouple voltages to temperatures, calculating the temperature difference and plotting the sample voltage against the temperature difference. This can be performaed by the user or automatically with the Omega software. NorECs can provide with full system (including ProboStat sample holder, furnace, Omega software, multimeter and power supply for the internal heater) that can automatically perform all the tasks needed for determining Seebeck coefficient at various temperatures.

ProboStat and Omega offer well proven and repeatable way of measuring Seebeck coefficients but also allows user great freedom to alter the setup to match for the specific qualities and challenges each individual sample has. This freedom and control over every aspect is the key to reach accurate result164 and is missing in 'turn-key' systems.

It is possible to combine this method with four point resistance measurement by adding two additional electrodes on the sample, see combined Seebeck coefficient and conductivity measurement

Seebsys - Combined Seebeck coefficient and resistance measurement system


These articles refer to ProboStat or other NorECs products, filtered with keywords: 'Seebeck, Thermoelectricity, Thermoelectric '  

The effect of Cu2O nanoparticle dispersion on the thermoelectric properties of n-type skutterudites

Authors M Battabyal, B Priyadarshini, D Sivaprahasam, N S Karthiselva and R Gopalan
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume: 48, Issue: 45 Time of Publication: 2015
Abstract We report the thermoelectric properties of Ba0.4Co4Sb12 and Sn0.4Ba0.4Co4Sb12 skutterudites dispersed with Cu2O nanoparticles. The samples were synthesized by ball milling and consolidated by spark plasma sintering. Dispersion of Cu2O is found to significantly influence the electrical resistivity and thermopower at high temperatures with a more pronounced effect on the electrical resistivity due to the energy filtering effect at the interface between Cu2O nanoparticles and a Ba0.4Co4Sb12 and Sn0.4Ba0.4Co4Sb12 matrix. At 573 K, the electrical resistivity of Ba0.4Co4Sb12 decreases from 5.01  ×  10−5 Ωm to 2.98  ×  10−5 Ωm upon dispersion of Cu2O. The dispersion of Cu2O reduces the thermal conductivity of the samples from 300 K and above by increasing the phonon scattering. The lowest observed thermal conductivity at 573 K is found to be 2.001 W mK−1 in Cu2O dispersed Ba0.4Co4Sb12 while it is 2.91 W mK−1 in the Ba0.4Co4Sb12 sample without Cu2O dispersion. Hence Cu2O dispersion plays a significant role in the thermoelectric properties and a maximum figure of merit (ZT ) ~ 0.92 is achieved in Cu2O dispersed Ba0.4Co4Sb12 at 573 K which is more than 200% compared to the pure Ba0.4Co4Sb12 sample. The results from nanoindentation experiments show that the Cu2O dispersed sample (Cu2O  +  Sn0.4Ba0.4Co4Sb11.6) has a higher reduced Youngs modulus (~139 GPa) than the pure Sn0.4Ba0.4Co4Sb11.6 sample (~128 GPa).
Remark Link

Tetragonal tungsten bronzes Nb8−xW9+xO47−δ: optimization strategies and transport properties of a new n-type thermoelectric oxide

Authors Christophe P. Heinrich, Matthias Schrade, Giacomo Cerretti, Ingo Lieberwirth, Patrick Leidich, Andreas Schmitz, Harald Fjeld, Eckhard Mueller, Terje G. Finstad, Truls Norby and Wolfgang Tremel
Materials Horizons
Issue: 5, Pages: 519-527
Time of Publication: 2015
Abstract Engineering of nanoscaled structures may help controlling the electrical and thermal transport in solids, in particular for thermoelectric applications that require the combination of low thermal conductivity and low electrical resistivity. The tetragonal tungsten bronzes Nb8−xW9+xO47 (TTB) allow a continuous variation of the charge carrier concentration while fulfilling at the same time the concept of a “phonon-glass electron-crystal” through a layered nanostructure defined by intrinsic crystallographic shear planes. The thermoelectric properties of the tetragonal tungsten bronzes Nb8−xW9+xO47−δ (0 < x < 2) were studied in the temperature range from 373 to 973 K. Structural defects and the thermal stability under various oxygen partial pressure pO2 were investigated by means of thermogravimetry, HR-TEM, and XRD. Nb8W9O47−δ was found stable at 973 K and a pO2 of ≈10−15 atm. The oxygen nonstoichiometry δ can reach up to 0.3, depending on the applied atmosphere. By increasing the substitution level x, the electrical resistivity ρ and the Seebeck coefficient S decreased. For x = 2, ρ reached 20 mΩ cm at 973 K, combined with a Seebeck coefficient of approximately −120 μV K−1. The thermal conductivity was low for all samples, ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 W K−1 m−1, attributed to the complex crystal structure. The best thermoelectric figure of merit zT of the investigated samples was 0.043, obtained for x = 2 at 973 K, but it is expected to increase significantly upon a further increase of x. The control of the oxygen non-stoichiometry δ opens a second independent optimization strategy for tetragonal tungsten bronzes.
Remark DOI: 10.1039/C5MH00033E

Electrical conductivity and thermopower of (1 − x) BiFeO3 – xBi0.5K0.5TiO3 (x = 0.1, 0.2) ceramics near the ferroelectric to paraelectric phase transition

Authors E. T. Wefring, M.-A. Einarsrud and T. Grande
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume: 17, Issue: 14, Pages: 9420-9428
Time of Publication: 2015
Abstract Ferroelectric BiFeO3 has attractive properties such as high strain and polarization, but a wide range of applications of bulk BiFeO3 are hindered due to high leakage currents and a high coercive electric field. Here, we report on the thermal behaviour of the electrical conductivity and thermopower of BiFeO3 substituted with 10 and 20 mol% Bi0.5K0.5TiO3. A change from p-type to n-type conductivity in these semi-conducting materials was demonstrated by the change in the sign of the Seebeck coefficient and the change in the slope of the isothermal conductivity versus partial pressure of O. A minimum in the isothermal conductivity was observed at [similar]10−2 bar O2 partial pressure for both solid solutions. The strong dependence of the conductivity on the partial pressure of O2 was rationalized by a point defect model describing qualitatively the conductivity involving oxidation/reduction of Fe3+, the dominating oxidation state of Fe in stoichiometric BiFeO3. The ferroelectric to paraelectric phase transition of 80 and 90 mol% BiFeO3 was observed at 648 ± 15 and 723 ± 15 °C respectively by differential thermal analysis and confirmed by dielectric spectroscopy and high temperature powder X-ray diffraction.
Remark DOI: 10.1039/C5CP00266D

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