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THERMOELECTRIC PERFORMANCE OF CALCIUM AND CALCIUM-CERIUM FILLED N-TYPE SKUTTERUDITES

United States Patent Application

20160035954
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A method is disclosed for inserting elemental calcium and cerium as low cost fillers in n-type Co.sub.4Sb.sub.12 type skutterudite compositions for use in thermoelectric applications. It is found that the inclusion of calcium oxide (and to a lesser extent, cerium oxide) in the Co.sub.4Sb.sub.12 skutterudite compositions, as the filled-crystalline compositions are being made, markedly reduces the thermoelectric properties of the intended calcium-filled crystalline product. A synthesis process, including careful control of melt spinning of a melt of calcium-containing, or calcium and cerium-containing, cobalt and antimony composition, leads to the formation of substantially oxide-free, calcium filled-precursor particles that can be compacted, sintered, and transformed into calcium-filled n-type skutterudite billets that have excellent thermoelectric properties.
Salvador, James R. (Royal Oak, MI), Thompson, Daniel (Royal Oak, MI), Liu, Chang (Sunnyvale, CA)
14/ 445,174
July 29, 2014
[0001] This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Agreement No. DE-EE0000014 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.