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FORMATION OF THERMOELECTRIC ELEMENTS BY NET SHAPE SINTERING

United States Patent Application

20110297203
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
Practices are described for preparing fine-grain, stress-tolerant, brittle, doped semiconductor thermoelectric elements better suited to withstand thermal and mechanical loads without cracking or fracture. Preparation entails net shape powder processing of substantially isotropic thermoelectric compounds such as skutterudites under conditions which promote reduction of the largest grain sizes in a grain size distribution. Nearly three-fold improvements in fracture strength over conventionally-processed thermoelectric elements are observed. The net shape powder processing is adapted for the ready incorporation of the net shape thermoelectric elements into a thermoelectric device.
Salvador, James R. (Lansing, MI), Yang, Jihui (Lakeshore, CA), Wereszczak, Andrew A. (Oak Ridge, TN)
GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS, INC. (Detroit MI)
12/ 793,798
June 4, 2010
[0001] This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Agreement No. DEACO50000R22725 awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.