Optimising the Fabrication of Thermoelectric Modules

  • Supervisors : Prof Douglas Paul,  & Prof Andew Knox university of Glasgow
  • Company: European Thermodynamics Ltd
  • PhD Student: Francesco Mirando

Among the sustainable energy technologies, particular attention has been directed to thermoelectric energy generators (TEGs) as these solid-state devices can improve the efficiency of a system by harvesting waste thermal energy and partially converting it into electricity. The main advantages of TEGs include solid-state operation, zero-emissions, vast scalability, no maintenance and long operating lifetime.

The project aims to develop enhanced electrical contacts, diffusion barriers and passivation layers for a range of thermoelectric materials that are expected to improve by over 25% the reliability, lifetime and output power thermoelectric modules designed for solar and automotive energy harvesting applications.

A number of key fabrication issues for delivering high performance thermoelectric modules, operating with hot-side temperatures of 500°C, are addressed through a structured investigation and techniques and facilities available at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

The emphasis of the project is to concentrate the research on developing thermoelectric test structures, devices and ultimately modules that can provide suitable feedback to optimize high temperature operation (≤500°𝐶) modules based on the new materials.