Science Publishes New Advances on Thermoelectric Cooling Materials and Devices by Prof. Zhao Lidong’s Group at Beihang University
Release time:March 18, 2024

On March 15, Science published the research article “Grid-plainification enables medium-temperature PbSe thermoelectrics to cool better than Bi2Te3”, which demonstrates latest progress in the research of thermoelectric cooling materials and devices by Prof. Zhao Lidong’s group at the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Beihang University.

As is introduced in the abstract of this article, thermoelectric cooling technology has important applications for processes such as precise temperature control in intelligent electronics. The bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3)-based coolers currently in use are limited by the scarcity of Te and less-than-ideal cooling capability. In the article, the researchers demonstrate how removing lattice vacancies through a grid-design strategy switched PbSe from being useful as a medium-temperature power generator to a thermoelectric cooler. At room temperature, the seven-pair device based on n-type PbSe and p-type SnSe produced a maximum cooling temperature difference of ~73 kelvin, with a single-leg power generation efficiency approaching 11.2%. They attribute their results to a power factor of>52 microwatts per centimeter per square kelvin, which was achieved by boosting carrier mobility. Their demonstration suggests a path for commercial applications of thermoelectric cooling based on Earth-abundant Te-free selenide-based compounds.

Fig.1 (A) Electronic Peltier refrigeration diagram; (B) Precise temperature control device based on semiconductor refrigeration

Qin Yongxin and Qin Bingchao, PhD students from Beihang University, are the first authors; Prof. Zhao Lidong and Zhang Xiao, Associate Researcher of Beihang Research Institute for Frontier Science, are the corresponding authors; School of Materials Science and Engineering of Beihang University is the first unit. This is the 9th research article published on Science by Prof. Zhao Lidong’s group since 2015.

Science also published a related Perspective article titled “Electron highways are cooler” by Prof. Maria Ibáñez from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, which further demonstrates highlights of this research article and gives high recognition to the group’s work.

Co-participating in this work are: Prof. Gao Xiang’s group at Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research, Prof. Ge Zhenhua’s group at Kunming University of Science and Technology, Prof. Wang Dongyang at Zhengzhou University, and Prof. Su Lizhong at Taiyuan University of Science and Technology.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing Municipality, the Higher Education Discipline Innovation Project, the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, etc.

Link to the article:

Prof. Zhao Lidong’s groupwebsite:

Reviewed by: Li Jianwei

Edited by: Jia Aiping, Lu Meili

Translated by: Lu Meili