Layer-by-layer Fabrication of Thermoelectric Films Using Nanoparticles to Yield HighEfficiency Thermoelectric Generators for Marine Applications

Principal Investigator: Carl Tripp (Chemistry, UMaine)

Partners: Joshua Henry (Maine Maritime Academy), Robert Lad (UMaine)

Abstract: Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) have attracted much interest because of their potential for converting waste heat from power sources to useful electricity. This technology is especially important for Maine’s future marine industries, where energy recovery from on-board ship engine heat will improve drive efficiency and provide power for onboard electronics. A pilot study is proposed to develop the methodology for fabricating low-cost, highly efficient TE films using a simple layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition method that aims to yield nanoporous TE films consisting of bismuth telluride (BiTe) nanoparticles with high electrical / low thermal conductivity. Low-cost, commercially available BiTe powder raw material will be refined and processed to attain well-controlled nanostructure, and prototype TEGs will be produced and tested.