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Processing and Thermoelectric Properties of TiNiSn Materials: A Review

Authors
  • Young, J. S.1
  • Reddy, R. G.1
  • 1 The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487, USA , Tuscaloosa (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Oct 15, 2019
Volume
28
Issue
10
Pages
5917–5930
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11665-019-04386-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The half-Heusler alloy TiNiSn is a promising material for high-temperature thermoelectric applications due to its good thermal stability and semiconductor-like electrical properties. Numerous synthesis techniques have been utilized to make TiNiSn, but a comparative study on its thermoelectric properties with respect to processing parameters has not been reported. Based on published experimental data, primary melting methods, such as arc melting or induction levitation melting, do not have a noticeable effect on the final thermoelectric properties, although choice of densification technique and annealing parameters correlate with each thermoelectric property. Thermal conductivity (2.47-6.08 W/m K), governed by lattice scattering effects, was maximized with high density from the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique as well with low inclusions of metallic impurities and interstitial Ni defects from low-temperature, non-densified processes. Electrical resistivity (4.75-30 µΩ m), inversely related to thermal conductivity, is minimized when density is maximized and chemical defects are favorable from using SPS. All reported TiNiSn alloys contain intermetallic impurities, imparting a global trend of lowered electrical resistivity. Seebeck coefficient (− 273.20 to − 50.71 µV/K), proportional to electrical resistivity, is maximized when charge carrier concentration is minimized by eliminating phase impurities and Ni defects. Porosity has been observed to scatter low-energy electrons, which can increase Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity, although no statistical significance is found. An ideal TiNiSn alloy should have intermediate values of all interconnected thermoelectric properties to maximize ZT. Future research work should strive to include quantitative phase analysis to better characterize the contributions of Ni defects and impurity phases toward thermoelectric properties.

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