A TiAlCu Metallization for ‘n’ Type CoSb x Skutterudites with Improved Performance for High-Temperature Energy Harvesting Applications

Ashwin Rao, Gregg Bosak, Binay Joshi, Jennifer Keane, Luke Nally, Adam Peng, Susanthri Perera, Alfred Waring, Bed Poudel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The choice of the appropriate metallizing layer for high-temperature thermoelectric (TE) materials is a tricky task and poses varied challenges to researchers. In this work, a n type TiAl metallizing layer (90% Ti with 10% Al by weight with a copper foil) is proposed for a Yb 0.2Co 4Sb 12 skutterudite (SK) TE material coupled with a standard ‘p type’ SK base of Nd 0.45Ce 0.45Fe 3.5Co 0.5Sb 12 with a 60:12:28% Fe:Ni:Cr metallizing layer. The n type and p type nanostructured SK powders are sintered at high temperatures and pressures in a DC hot press from which a TE device is assembled using diced, polished and property characterized TE legs (high figure of merit zT of 1.4 for n type and 1.2 for p type, respectively). The device is evaluated for functional degradation with repeated cycling to 500°C hot side (HS) and 50°C cold side (CS) temperatures in a specially designed high-vacuum test rig with key TE properties like peak power, open circuit voltage, and material internal resistance continuously recorded over each cycle. The device shows stable performance with <7% drop in TE harvested power over ~2500 thermal cycles. With the industry benchmark for evaluating TE device performance being around 1000 thermal cycles (<10% drop in TE power over time), the study indicates stable performance of the n type TiAl metallizing layer over the device lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2419-2431
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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