Controlling electrical and thermal transport across metal-thermoelectric interfaces through chemical modification with a nanomolecular layer

Cardinal, Thomas
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Ramanath, G. (Ganpati)
Keblinski, Pawel
Ullal, Chaitanya
Borca-Tasçiuc, Theodorian
Yamaguchi, Masashi
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Materials science and engineering
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This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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In addition, longer molecules increase Σc across Cu-NML-Bi₂Te₃ interfaces due to stronger Cu suppression, yet have no apparent effect across Ni-NML-Bi₂Te₃ interfaces due to weak Ni-S bonding, suggesting electron transport across metal-NML-Bi₂Te₃ interfaces is primarily through interfacial phases and not across the NML molecules themselves. Oppositely, NMLs induce decreases in Γc due to suppressed interfacial metal-telluride formation and interdiffusion yet, negligibly influencing efficiency. Ultimately, we show 2- to 8-fold enhancements in Zeff are attainable through NML modification, led by the enhancements in Σc. Further still, Ni-metallized interfaces maintain their efficiency against thermal annealing due to thermally insensitive Σc as opposed to Cu-metallization, which suffers orders of magnitude decreases in Σc with or without NML modification. The results from this thesis illustrate that NMLs could be attractive for manipulating interface chemistry and phase formation for tailoring electrical and thermal transport across metal-thermoelectric interfaces to achieve high efficiency solid-state thermoelectric devices.
December 2016
School of Engineering
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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