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  1. Additive manufacturing allows fabrication of custom-shaped thermoelectric materials while minimizing waste, reducing processing steps, and maximizing integration compared to conventional methods. Establishing the process-structure-property relationship of laser additive manufactured thermoelectric materials facilitates enhanced process control and thermoelectric performance. This research focuses on laser processing of bismuth telluride (Bi 2 Te 3 ), a well-established thermoelectric material for low temperature applications. Single melt tracks under various parameters (laser power, scan speed and number of scans) were processed on Bi 2 Te 3 powder compacts. A detailed analysis of the transition in the melting mode, grain growth, balling formation, and elemental composition is provided. Rapid melting and solidification of Bi 2 Te 3 resulted in fine-grained microstructure with preferential grain growth along the direction of the temperature gradient. Experimental results were corroborated with simulations for melt pool dimensions as well as grain morphology transitions resulting from the relationship between temperature gradient and solidification rate. Samples processed at 25 W, 350 mm/s with 5 scans resulted in minimized balling and porosity, along with columnar grains having a high density of dislocations.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 8, 2023
  2. Additive manufacturing offers several opportunities for thermoelectric energy harvesting systems. This new manufacturing approach enables customized leg geometries, minimized thermal boundary resistances, less retooling, reduced thermoelectric material waste, and strong potential to manipulate microstructure for higher values of figure of merit. Although additive manufacturing has been used to fabricate thin thermoelectric films, there has been comparatively limited demonstrations of additive manufacturing for bulk thermoelectric structures. This review provides insights about the current progress of bulk thermoelectric material and device additive manufacturing. Each additive manufacturing technique used to produce bulk thermoelectric structures is discussed in detail along with future directions and challenges.