• A review on recent developments of thermoelectric materials for room-temperature applications

      Solemaini, Zohreh; Zoras, Stamatis; Ceranic, Boris; Shahzad, Sally; Cui, YUANLONG; University of Derby; University of Sheffield (Elsevier, 2019-12-13)
      Wearable thermoelectric generators (TEGs) emerge as a viable renewable energy source, which directly convert the heat dissipated from human skin into electricity. Extensive reviews have been conducted on the efficiency of thermoelectric materials (TE) as the dominant element of TEGs. TE materials are categorised as inorganic, organic, and hybrid. Each of these reviews focused on either a specific type of TE materials, or on a certain specification (i.e. flexibility) of them. However, less attention has been paid to comprehensively review all these types without taking into account a certain specification. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to summarize the progress and current state-of-the-art research on the three types of TE materials respecting their TE properties and efficiency at 300K, which is the operating temperature of wearable TEGs. Concerning the inorganic TE materials, the results show that Bi0.4-xSb1.6+xTe3 and Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 are the most optimal TE materials, which exhibit the greatest efficiencies at room temperature. In addition, it is remarkably more efficient to replace polymer based TE composites with carbon based TE composites in the organic and the hybrid types. In total, this comprehensive review paves the way for researchers to find out the most suitable TE materials at room temperatures.