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Fabrication of stable electrode/diffusion barrier layers for thermoelectric filled skutterudite devices

United States Patent

9,209,378
December 8, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Disclosed are methods for the manufacture of n-type and p-type filled skutterudite thermoelectric legs of an electrical contact. A first material of CoSi.sub.2 and a dopant are ball-milled to form a first powder which is thermo-mechanically processed with a second powder of n-type skutterudite to form a n-type skutterudite layer disposed between a first layer and a third layer of the doped-CoSi.sub.2. In addition, a plurality of components such as iron, and nickel, and at least one of cobalt or chromium are ball-milled form a first powder that is thermo-mechanically processed with a p-type skutterudite layer to form a p-type skutterudite layer "second layer" disposed between a first and a third layer of the first powder. The specific contact resistance between the first layer and the skutterudite layer for both the n-type and the p-type skutterudites subsequent to hot-pressing is less than about 10.0 .mu..OMEGA.cm.sup.2.
Jie; Qing (Houston, TX), Ren; Zhifeng (Houston, TX), Chen; Gang (Cambridge, MA)
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM (Houston, TX), MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (Cambridge, MA)
14/ 310,840
20140377901
June 20, 2014
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under award number DE-EE0005806.