A thermoelectric material including the thermoelectric semiconductor and a nanosheet that is embedded within the thermoelectric semiconductor, the nanosheet has layers and a thickness of 0.1 to around 10 nanometers. A thermoelectric element and an element that is thermoelectric, which includes the thermoelectric component.

1. Field

The present disclosure pertains to a thermoelectric material, an element of thermoelectricity that includes the thermoelectric element, techniques for preparing the thermoelectric element, and a thermoelectric module including the same.

2. Description of Related Art

The thermoelectric effect is the direct and reversible conversion of energy between heat and electricity and is generated as an electron and a hole are moved within a thermoelectric material. The thermoelectric effect is classified as the Peltiereffect, which provides cooling using a temperature difference between ends of a thermoelectric material due to an applied electric current, and the Seebeck effect, which provides power generation using an electromotive force generated from a temperaturedifference between ends of a thermoelectric material.

A thermoelectric material that is current is employed in a semiconductor device for passive cooling system and in electronic devices to provide an active cooling system. For cooling applications that require the use of a compressor for refrigerant there is a rising need for a more efficient thermoelectric material. Thermoelectric cooling is a sustainable cooling technology with no disturbance and minimal noise and does not require the use of refrigerant gases, which can create environmental issues. Still there remains the need for a more efficient thermoelectric material. A thermoelectric cooling material that has a greater efficiency could allow for a wider range of uses for general-purpose cooling, such as refrigerators or air conditioners. Furthermore, a thermoelectric power generating material could be utilized in areas in areas where heat is released like in a car engine or in factories, to produce power by utilizing the difference in temperature that is generated at opposite ends ofthe thermoelectric power-generating material. Thus the thermoelectric power generating material is also receiving attention as a new energy source.

This is a thermoelectric material with improved thermoelectric conversion efficiency.

The thermoelectric element is comprised of the thermoelectric material is provided.

The thermoelectric module is comprised of the element of thermoelectric.

Additional features, advantages, and aspects will be discussed in detail in this article. Partly, the description will make these issues more clear.

In accordance with an element, a thermoelectric substance comprises: a thermoelectric semiconductor and a nanosheet that is embedded within the thermoelectric semiconductor, the nanosheet exhibiting layers and a thickness from about 0.1 to about 10nanometers (nm).

The distance between the layers in the structure may range between 1 and 40 angstroms (.ANG.). ).

The area of the nanosheet could range between 0.0001 to around 100 square micrometers (.mu.m.sup.2).

Nanosheets could comprise a layered material, including a metal hydroxide.

The nanosheet may include a layered double hydroxide (LDH) represented by Formula 1: [M.sup.2+.sub.1-xM’.sup.3+.sub.x(OH).sub.2][A.sup.n-.sub.x/n.mH.sub.2O] Formula 1 wherein M.sup.2+ denotes a divalent metal ion, M’.sup.3+ denotes a trivalentmetal ion, A.sup.n- denotes an inorganic anion having a valence of n, 0.2.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.0.33, n is an integer from 1 to 3, and 0.5.ltoreq.m.ltoreq.4.

M.sup.2+ can be chosen from Mg.sup.2+, Ca.sup.2+, Mn.sup.2+, Fe.sup.2+, Co.sup.2+, Ni.sup.2+, Cu.sup.2+, Zn.sup.2+, Ga.sup.2+, and a mixture of them. M’.sup.3+ can be chosen from Al.sup.3+, Cr.sup.3+, Mn.sup.3+, Fe.sup.3+, Co.sup.3+,Ni.sup.3+, La.sup.3+, and any combination of them, and A.sup.n- may be selected from CO.sub.3.sup.2-, OH.sup.-, NO.sub.3.sup.-, SO.sub.4.sup.2-, ClO.sub.4.sup.-, WO.sub.4.sup.2-, and an amalgamation of them.

The thermoelectric semiconductor can comprise elements selected from a transition metal an element of rare earth, an element of the Group 13, Group 13 element, a Group 14 element, a Group 15 element, and an Group 16 element, and the combination of them.

The thermoelectric semiconductor can comprise a thermoelectric semiconductor that is chosen from a BiTe-containing substance, Co-Sb-containing materials that is Pb-Te-containing, a Ge–Tb-containing material, a Si-Ge-containing substance, aSb-Te-containing one, a Sm–Co-containing material, a material containing a transition metal silicide and a mixture of the two.

An average particle diameter of the thermoelectric semiconductor may be approximately 0.01 micrometer (.mu.m) to about 100 .mu.m.

Another aspect of a thermoelectric substance is: A thermoelectric semiconductor; and a metal hydroxide with a layered structure.

The metal hydroxide may be a layered double hydroxide (LDH) represented by Formula 1: [M.sup.2+.sub.1-xM’.sup.3+.sub.x(OH).sub.2][A.sup.n-.sub.x/n.mH.sub.2O] Formula 1 wherein M.sup.2+ denotes a divalent metal ion, M’.sup.3+ denotes a trivalentmetal ion, A.sup.n- denotes an organic anion having a valence of n, 0.2.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.0.33, n is an integer from 1 to 3, and 0.5.ltoreq.m.ltoreq.4.

M.sup.2+ can be selected from Mg.sup.2+ Mn.sup.2+ Mn.sup.2+ Mn.sup.2+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.3+ Mn.sup.4+, ClO.4-, WO.4.sup.2+

The distance between layers in an layered structure may be anywhere from 1 to 40 cm.ANG.

The thickness of metal hydrogenoxide is a range of 0.1 to 50 nanometers.

Another aspect states that an element that is thermoelectric is the thermoelectric material described above.

The thermoelectric element may be monolithic.

The thermoelectric semiconductor may form a matrix and the nanosheets of metal hydroxide can be dispersed within the matrix.

The nanosheet, also known as metal hydroxide can be located along the grain boundary of the thermoelectric semiconductor.

Another aspect of a thermoelectric module is that it includes one electrode, and a second one facing first electrode, and the thermoelectric element described above placed between the first and second electrodes.

A method of making thermoelectric materials is also disclosed. This includes: providing a thermoelectric device; creating a nanosheet from a doubly hydroxide layered layer including the thermoelectric semiconductor to the nanosheet in order to make a mixture; heating the mixture to create the thermoelectric substance.

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