Laser treatment as sintering process for dispenser printed bismuth telluride based paste
Laser sintering as a thermal post treatment method for dispenser printed p- and n-type bismuth telluride based thermoelectric paste materials was investigated. A high-power fiber laser (600 W, 1064 nm) was used in combination with a scanning system to achieve high processing speed. A Design of Experiment (DoE) approach was used to identify the most relevant processing parameters. Printed layers were laser treated with different process parameters and the achieved sheet resistance, electrical conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient are compared to tube furnace processed reference specimen. For p-type material, electrical conductivity of 22 S/cm was achieved, compared to 15 S/cm in tube furnace process. For n-type material, conductivity achieved by laser process was much lower (7 S/cm) compared to 88 S/cm in furnace process. Also, Seebeck coefficient decreases during laser processing (40-70 µV/K and −110 µV/K) compared to the oven process (251 µV/K and −142 µV/K) for p- and n-type material. DoE did not yet deliver a set of optimum processing parameters, but supports doubts about the applicability of area specific laser energy density as a single parameter to optimize laser sintering process.