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Research on Skutterudite-type Thermoelectric Materials for On-board Waste Heat Recovery System

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.29 No.1


Skutterudite-type thermoelectric materials were researched with the goals of enhancing the performance of a lightweight and compact thermoelectric waste heat recovery system and scaling-up to mass production. Measures such as reducing the starting material cost and purity and increasing the manufacturing process yield were promoted, and prospects were achieved for mass production scale manufacturing of high performance thermoelectric materials (P-type thermoelectric properties ZT > 0.8, N-type thermoelectric properties ZT > 1) at approximately 1/100 the current proto-type manufacturing cost. Material nano-structuring was performed to enhance the properties, and the results showed that rare-earth metals added to skutterudite-type thermoelectric materials oxidize easily, and that the carrier concentration in the materials changes due to this oxidation, which has an acute effect on the thermoelectric characteristics. The effects of material nano-structuring in an environment that suppresses oxidation and adjustment of the carrier concentration enhanced the thermoelectric properties by 23.8%.


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Author (organization or company)

Tomohide HARAGUCHI(Automobile R&D Center)、Kenta KAWANO(Automobile R&D Center)、Takahiro OCHI(Furukawa Co., Ltd.)、Junqing GUO(Furukawa Co., Ltd.)

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