Development of the high performance thermoelectric unicouple based on Bi2Te3 compounds

M. Maksymuk, B. Dzundza, O. Matkivsky, I. Horichok, R. Shneck, Z. Dashevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Bismuth telluride-based compounds are the most common thermoelectric (TE) materials for power generating systems, which can operate in the temperature range of 300–600 K. One of the main disadvantages of Bi2Te3-based TE modules is the low energy conversion efficiency (3–6%). For this reason, we offer a unique thermoelectric power generation unicouple based on the developed n-type Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 and cut perpendicularly to the main crystallographic axis p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 thermoelectric materials. The application of the optimized chemical compositions in combination with Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technique provided the high average thermoelectric figure of merit of up to 0.97 and 0.72 for n-Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 and p-Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3, respectively. A three-dimensional finite-element simulation was employed to account for the different transport properties of the n- and p-type materials. As a result of the optimized design, the outstanding energy conversion efficiency ηmax ∼8% was experimentally measured for the thermoelectric unicouple device at the relatively small temperature gradient of 250 K (Tc = 350 K). The output unicouple parameters were recorded using the developed herein high-precision original setup. Furthermore, a power generation TE unicouple with an electric power of 0.04 W at the 0.5 V was designed and fabricated offering significant industrial potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231301
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 15 May 2022


  • Figure of merit
  • Low-temperature thermoelectric module
  • Thermoelectric efficiency
  • n- and p-type BiTe based compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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