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Making thermoelectric materials by mechanosynthesis

Reference

86674-01

Patents status

French patent application FR0503417 filed on April 6th, 2005 entitled: “Réalisation de matériaux thermoélectriques par mécanosynthèse”.

Inventors

Eric ALLENO
Claude GODART
Eric LEROY
David BERARDAN

commercial status

Research agreement, exclusive or non exclusive licenses

Laboratory

Laboratoire de Chimie Métallurgique des Terres Rares, (UPR 209), a CNRS laboratory, Thiais, France, http://www.lcmtr.cnrs.fr/

Description

CONTEXT

The method involves making a skutterudite alloy by mechanosynthesis of crystalline alloy compounds having a cubic structure and thermoelectric properties.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

The method involves making a skutterudite alloy by mechanosynthesis of crystalline alloy compounds having a cubic structure and thermoelectric properties. The mechanosynthesis involves the synthesis of the alloy compounds by dry co-grinding or in the presence of a process control agent, from original materials constituted of pure or pre-allied components in a high energy grinder to obtain nanopowders. The constituents of the alloy are selected from a first component comprising transition metal(s), a second component comprising at least one element chosen from the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth columns of the Periodic Table, and a third component selected from rare earths, alkalis, alkaline earths and/or actinide. The invention also concerns the thermoelectric material obtained by implementing said method.

BENEFITS

The method does not require a high temperature annealing stage after synthesis, thus reducing the manufacturing cost. Mechanosynthesis permits producing quantities adapted to industrial productions and a certain reproducibility. The mechanosynthesis does not cause thermoelectric degradation and enables obtaining nanopowders that can be packed at 300°C without chemical evolution. The mechanosynthesis permits to make filled or partially filled skutterudite compositions in the form of nanopowders that can be obtained only by thermodynamic metastability. The mechanosynthesis produces a powder whose grain shape and size facilitate in improving the thermoelectric properties.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

Used for making a skutterudite type thermoelectric material that is integrated in a thermoelectric device, using the Peltier and/or Seeback effect, for energy conversion such as converting heat into electric-power, and is coupled to other types of materials to form multimaterials structures presenting thermal and/or electrical conductivity gradients.

For further information, please contact us (Ref 86674-01)

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