Functional graded germanium-lead chalcogenide-based thermoelectric module for renewable energy applications

Eden Hazan, Ohad Ben-Yehuda, Naor Madar, Yaniv Gelbstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


High thermoelectric conversion efficiencies can be achieved by making use of materials with, as high as possible, figure of merit, ZT, values. Moreover, even higher performance is possible with appropriate geometrical optimization including the use of functionally graded materials (FGM) technology. Here, an advanced n-type functionally graded thermoelectric material based on a phase-separated (PbSne)PbS)matrix is reported. For assessment of the thermoelectric potential of this material, combined with the previously reported p-type Gebe showing a remarkable dimensionless figure of merit of 2.2, a finite-element thermoelectric model is developed. The results predict, for the investigated thermoelectric couple, a very impressive thermoelectric efficiency of 14%, which is more than 20% higher than previously reported values for operating under cold and hot junction temperatures of 50 °C and 500 °C, respectively. Validation of the model prediction is done by a thermoelectric couple fabricated according to the model's geometrical optimization conditions, showing a good agreement to the theoretically calculated results, hence approaching a higher technology readiness level. A novel route for approaching higher technology readiness level (TRL) of a phase-separated functionally graded chalcogenide-based thermoelectric (TE) device, exhibiting a remarkable thermoelectric efficiency of up to 14%, is presented. The TE device is designed, developed, and fabricated using a finite-element multiphysics model and validated by a laboratory simulator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1500272
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • PbTe
  • chalcogenides
  • efficiency
  • modeling
  • phase seperation
  • thermoelectricity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (all)


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