Improved thermoelectric performance based on pn junctions

(PresseBox) (Duisburg, ) Prof. Roland Schmechel from the University Duisburg-Essen presented his current studies of thermoelectric generators based on pn junctions at the Thermoelectric Congress 2016 in Cologne, hosted by DLR, German Aerospace Center. Prof. Schmechel and his staff members produced test objects of nano-structured silicon which interlink both doped materials to pn junctions.

He successfully achieved to verify that a thermoelectric generator made up on pn junction works more efficiently than an ordinary thermoelectric generator made of the same material. Reason for that is the improved thermal coupling on the hot side of the generator. Prof. Schmechel assumes an additional resource of charge carrier within the pn junction that could intensify the given effect. A publication on his studies is under preparation.

Prof. Schmechel`s studies are based on the publications from 2006 by Dr. Gerhard Span, CTO at O-Flexx Technologies. The pn junctions within the scope of thermoelectric applications are protected by patents and commercially exploited by O-Flexx Technologies.

Pn junction offers an additional benefit regarding high temperature applications:

the metallization of the hot side can be avoided and thus result in the required cycle stability, essential in practice such as the exhaust section of a vehicle.

O-Flexx are currently working on the next generation of integrated pn junctions. This generation will strongly improve the benefits of a direct coupling of the active material with an exhaust gas stream – free of metallization on the hot side. Further testing of samples will be made in the next couple of months and measurements will be taken at lead customers.

Already for 7 years O-Flexx Technologies jointly work together with Prof. Schmechel and the University Duisburg-Essen. Prof. Schmechel`s institute of Technology for Nanostructures is engaged in the synthesis, deposition and electronic application of nanostructured materials. Prof. Schmechel also deals with the specific electrical, thermic and optical attributes of nanoparticles attempting to make them useful for particular electronic devices.

O-Flexx Technologies GmbH

O-Flexx Technologies produce thermoelectric generators and are headquarted in Duisburg. As a development partner of global players O-Flexx develops customized solutions for Power Generation, Energy Harvesting and Thermal Management. O-Flexx have been highly recognized for the innovative thin layer approach in thermoelectric applications.

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