Thermoelectric materials and generators: modeling and fabrication
With current focus on clean energy options for the goal of reducing pollution and climate change, thermoelectric materials are seeing a renewed interest. While the operating principles are easy to understand and apply experimentally at the undergraduate level, increasing the efficiency of thermoelectric materials remains a challenge at all levels of research. The work presented here is a complete module of thermoelectric undergraduate study, from modeling in Comsol Multiphysics to fabrication and thermal characterization. The Comsol model of a thermoelectric 3 component generator successfully mimics the experimental prototype while mechanical grinding leads to a stable compound of Bismuth and Tellurium with the same melting point as a compound fabricated at high temperatures followed by grinding and cold pressing.
Faculty Mentors: Daniela Buna, Ph.D., Caroline Brisson, Ph.D.