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Title: Life testing of Yb14MnSb11 for high performance thermoelectric couples
Authors: Paik, Jong-Ah
Brandon, Erik
Caillat, Thierry
Ewell, Richard
Fleurial, Jean-Pierre
Keywords: thermoelectric couples
sublimation supression
Issue Date: 7-Feb-2011
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2011.
Citation: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) 2011, Albuquerque, NM, February 7-10, 2011.
Abstract: The goal of this study is to verify the long term stability of Yb14MnSb11 for high performance thermoelectric (TE) couples. Three main requirements need to be satisfied to ensure the long term stability of thermoelectric couples: 1) stable thermoelectric properties, 2) stable bonding interfaces, and 3) adequate sublimation suppression. The efficiency of the couple is primarily based on the thermoelectric properties of the materials selected for the couple. Therefore, these TE properties should exhibit minimal degradation during the operating period of the thermoelectric couples. The stability of the bonding is quantified by low contact resistances of the couple interfaces. In order to ensure high efficiency, the contact resistances of the bonding interfaces should be negligible. Sublimation suppression is important because the majority of thermoelectric materials used for power generation have peak figures of merit at temperatures where sublimation rates are high. Controlling sublimation is also essential to preserve the efficiency of the couple. During the course of this research, three different life tests were performed with Yb14MnSb11 coupons. TE properties of Yb14MnSb11 exhibited no degradation after 6 months of aging at 1273K, and the electrical contact resistance between a thin metallization layer and the Yb14MnSb11 remained negligible after 1500hr aging at 1273K. A sublimation suppression layer for Yb14MnSb11 was developed and demonstrated for more than 18 months with coupon testing at 1273K. These life test data indicate that thermoelectric elements based on Yb14MnSb11 are a promising technology for use in future high performance thermoelectric power generating couples.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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