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Iron disilicide as high-temperature reference material for traceable measurements of Seebeck coefficient between 300 K and 800 K

: Ziolkowski, Pawel; Boor, Johannes de; Stiewe, Christian; Druschke, Ines; Zabrocki, Knud; Edler, Frank; Haupt, Sebastian; König, Jan D.; Mueller, Eckhard R.


Journal of Electronic Materials 46 (2017), No.1, pp.51-63
ISSN: 0361-5235
ISSN: 1543-186X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPM ()
iron disilicide; seebeck coefficient

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) convert heat to electrical energy by means of the Seebeck effect. The Seebeck coefficient is a central thermoelectric material property, measuring the magnitude of the thermovoltage generated in response to a temperature difference across a thermoelectric material. Precise determination of the Seebeck coefficient provides the basis for reliable performance assessment in materials development in the field of thermoelectrics. For several reasons, measurement uncertainties of up to 14% can often be observed in interlaboratory comparisons of temperature-dependent Seebeck coefficient or in error analyses on currently employed instruments. This is still too high for an industrial benchmark and insufficient for many scientific investigations and technological developments. The TESt (thermoelectric standardization) project was launched in 2011, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), to reduce measurement uncertainties, engineer traceable and precise thermoelectric measurement techniques for materials and TEGs, and develop reference materials (RMs) for temperature-dependent determination of the Seebeck coefficient. We report herein the successful development and qualification of cobalt-doped β-iron disilicide (β-Fe0.95Co0.05Si2) as a RM for high-temperature thermoelectric metrology. A brief survey on technological processes for manufacturing and machining of samples is presented. Focus is placed on metrological qualification of the iron disilicide, results of an international round-robin test, and final certification as a reference material in accordance with ISO-Guide 35 and the “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement” by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, the national metrology institute of Germany.