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Thermoelectric and pyroelectric energy conversion devices

Image Number 105 for United States Patent #7807917.

New thermoelectric materials and devices are disclosed for application to high efficiency thermoelectric power generation. New functional materials based on oxides, rare-earth-oxides, rare-earth-nitrides, rare-earth phosphides, copper-rare-earth oxides, silicon-rare-earth-oxides, germanium-rare-earth-oxides and bismuth rare-earth-oxides are disclosed. Addition of nitrogen and phosphorus are disclosed to optimize the oxide material properties for thermoelectric conversion efficiency. New devices based on bulk and multilayer thermoelectric materials are described. New devices based on bulk and multilayer thermoelectric materials using combinations of at least one of thermoelectric and pyroelectric and ferroelectric materials are described. Thermoelectric devices based on vertical pillar and planar architectures are disclosed. The advantage of the planar thermoelectric effect allows utility for large area applications and is scalable for large scale power generation plants.

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