Introduction to Thermoelectricity

By Mark Lundstrom1, Ali Shakouri1

1. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Abstract

The potentially transformative possibilities of thermoelectric technologies have long been understood and are frequently noted in the 3000+ papers published each year. Over the past two decades, the thermoelectric material figure of merit has been increased substantially, but the promise of widely used commercial thermoelectric technologies has not been realized. Fresh perspectives are needed.

This short course consists of two modules. The modules in this course are designed to introduce semiconductor scientists and engineers to thermoelectric science and technology. The first module (by Lundstrom) is on the theory of thermoelectricity with the goal of understanding the thermoelectric transport coefficients. The second module (by Shakouri) covers thermoelectric devices and systems focusing on issues that must be addressed to realize the promise of thermoelectrics.

The background assumed for this short course is a basic understanding of semiconductor fundamentals, and the goal is to help those new to the field to follow the current research literature and to contribute new ideas that address the roadblocks that remain.

Upon completion of this short course, those who are interested in a more indepth look at thermoelectricity can visit the nanoHUB-U course Thermoelectricity: From Atoms to Systems.

This short course is available in three formats on nanoHUB.org.

  1. As a resouce as presented here.
  2. As a nanoHUB-U course.
  3. As a YouTube playlist.

Bio

Mark Lundstrom Mark Lundstrom is the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He was the founding director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology and now serves as chairman of its Executive Committee. Lundstrom earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and 1974, respectively and joined the Purdue faculty upon completing his doctorate on the West Lafayette campus in 1980. Before attending Purdue, he worked at Hewlett-Packard Corporation on MOS process development and manufacturing. At Purdue, he has worked on solar cells, heterostructure devices, carrier transport physics, and the physics and simulation of nanoscale transistors. His current research interests focus on the physics and technology of energy conversion devices. Lundstrom is a fellow the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Physical Society (APS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has received several awards for his contributions to research and education and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Ali Shakouri Ali Shakouri is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University . He received his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1995. His research interests include quantum electronics, nano and microscale heat and current transport in semiconductor devices, thermoelectric/thermionic energy conversion, submicron thermal imaging, micro refrigerators on a chip and novel optoelectronic integrated circuits.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Mark Lundstrom, Ali Shakouri (2019), "Introduction to Thermoelectricity," https://nanohub.org/resources/31456.

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Location

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Lecture Number/Topic Online Lecture Video Lecture Notes Supplemental Material Suggested Exercises
Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.1: Theory - Introduction View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.2: Theory - Electrical Conductivity View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.3: Theory - Seebeck Coefficient View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.4: Theory - Peltier Coefficient View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.5: Theory - Electronic Thermal Conductivity View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.6: Theory - Figure of Merit View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 1.7: Theory - Summary View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.1: Systems - Importance of ZT (material figure-of-merit) View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.2: Systems - Efficiency Limits, Carnot, Curzon-Ahlborn View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.3: Systems - Thermoelectrics for Power Generation Applications View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.4: Systems - TE Cost/Performance Tradeoff View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.5: Systems - Topping Cycle Applications View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.6: Systems - Peltier Coolers View HTML
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Introduction to Thermoelectricity Lecture 2.7: Systems - Summary View HTML
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