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Transport properties of bulk thermoelectrics. An international round-robin study, Part II: Thermal diffusivity, specific heat, and thermal conductivity

: Wang, H.; Porter, W.D.; Böttner, H.; König, J.; Chen, L.; Bai, S.; Tritt, T.M.; Mayolet, A.; Senawiratne, J.; Smith, C.; Harris, F.; Gilbert, P.; Sharp, J.; Lo, J.; Kleinke, H.; Kiss, L.


Journal of Electronic Materials 42 (2013), Nr.6, S.1073-1084
ISSN: 0361-5235
ISSN: 1543-186X
Fraunhofer IPM ()

For bulk thermoelectrics, improvement of the figure of merit ZT to above 2 from the current values of 1.0 to 1.5 would enhance their competitiveness with alternative technologies. In recent years, the most significant improvements in ZT have mainly been due to successful reduction of thermal conductivity. However, thermal conductivity is difficult to measure directly at high temperatures. Combined measurements of thermal diffusivity, specific heat, and mass density are a widely used alternative to direct measurement of thermal conductivity. In this work, thermal conductivity is shown to be the factor in the calculation of ZT with the greatest measurement uncertainty. The International Energy Agency (IEA) group, under the implementing agreement for Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT), has conducted two international round-robins since 2009. This paper, part II of our report on the international round-robin testing of transport properties of bulk bismuth telluride , focuses on thermal diffusivity, specific heat, and thermal conductivity measurements.