Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (3): 269-278.doi: 10.15541/jim20180248

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Thermoelectric Device: Contact Interface and Interface Materials

HU Xiao-Kai1,4, ZHANG Shuang-Meng1, ZHAO Fu1,2, LIU Yong1,3, LIU Wei-Shu1   

  1. 1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China;
    2. Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China;
    3. AECC Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, Beijing 100095, China;
    4. Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Geelong 3216, Australia;
  • Received:2018-06-21 Revised:2018-08-23 Online:2019-03-20 Published:2019-02-26
  • Supported by:
    National 1000-Youth Talent;Shenzhen Talent Peacock Plan;Guangdong InnovativeandEntrepreneurialResearch Team Program (2016ZT06G587)


Thermoelectric power generation via Seebeck effect features an unique advantage in converting large amount of distributed and low-grade waste heat into electricity. Thermoelectric materials have become a hot topic of research in the field of new energy materials, guided by the high figure of merit ZT. Although various mid-temperature thermoelectric materials were discovered, the industrial application of these materials, especially in power generation applications, progressed very slowly. The staggering interface technology associated with thermoelectric device restricted the advance of thermoelectric conversion technology. In this review, the bottleneck issues of utilizing Bi2Te3-based devices for power generation were used as an example to illustrate the critical interface technologies. The key issues at designing electrode contact interfaces were summarized, including low contact resistance, high bonding strength, and superior thermal chemical stability at high temperature. The recent progress on the metallization and interfacial barrier layer for typical materials of Bi2Te3, PbTe and CoSb3 were also reviewed.

Key words: thermoelectric device, metallization, contact resistance, high-temperature stability, review

CLC Number: 

  • TN37