MEASUREMENT OF THE THERMOELECTRIC FIGURE OF MERIT FOR A NOVEL MATERIAL – La0.8Fe3CoSb12
Abstract (Summary)The proposed research is an investigation of the thermoelectric figure of merit for the filled-skutterudite material–La0.8Fe3CoSb12. The samples, in the form of thin film, were prepared using Laser Ablation method where glass plates of dimension 0.5 mm thick were used as the substrate. At room temperature, the electrical resistance of the samples was measured under adiabatic and isothermal conditions using a custom built apparatus. The ratio of adiabatic electrical resistivity to the isothermal electrical resistivity has a simple relationship with the figure of merit. Using that relation, the figure of merit of the samples was determined from the obtained data at room temperature. The results of the resistance measurements showed that the material is a relatively poor conductor; that is, the electrical resistivity is high at room temperature. Measured adiabatic and the isothermal resistances of the samples and the obtained values for the thermoelectric FOM of the three samples of the material were not consistent at room temperature. Also, these values did not agree with the desired result for the material. Previous researches with different La-fractions of the material show ZT ~ 0.2 or above can be reached at room temperature and our method of investigation failed to reach that mark. In conclusion, the measured thermoelectric figure of merit for the material indicates that the material is a poor conductor of electrical current and good conductor of thermal current. In other words, the material is not a good candidate for the desired thermoelectric applications.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:thermoelectric figure of merit
Date of Publication:01/01/2006