Simulation of Thermal Fields in SPS Fabrication of Segmented Thermoelectric Legs
Spark plasma sintering (SPS) enables preparation of bulk homogeneous nanothermoelectrics with improved figure of merit, offering a potential route to production of segmented legs from layerwise powder in one sintering cycle. However, it is rather difficult to create appropriate thermal, electric, and pressure conditions to obtain optimal sample parameters. The sintering process of an example segmented leg with Bi2Te3, PbTe, and Mg2(Si0.4Sn0.6)0.993Sb0.007 parts using an SPS-511S installation has been simulated. The temperature distribution in the volume of a segmented sample with the stated composition has been obtained as a function of its geometry, as parameterized by the diameter-to-height ratio. The optimal ratio values, correlating with greater temperature difference along the sample length, have been determined. The results can be used to formulate recommendations for achieving better SPS processing conditions for fabrication of segmented thermoelectric legs. These legs have good performance due to the significant temperature difference in the leg during sintering.
KeywordsThermoelectricity segmented materials figure of merit spark plasma sintering nanothermoelectrics silicides
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