International Journal of Thermophysics

, Volume 36, Issue 2–3, pp 482–492 | Cite as

Reference Material for Seebeck Coefficients



This paper describes a measurement method and a measuring system to determine absolute Seebeck coefficients of thermoelectric bulk materials with the aim of establishing reference materials for Seebeck coefficients. Reference materials with known thermoelectric properties are essential to allow a reliable benchmarking of different thermoelectric materials for application in thermoelectric generators to convert thermal into electrical energy or vice versa. A temperature gradient (1 to 8) K is induced across the sample, and the resulting voltage is measured by using two differential Au/Pt thermocouples. On the basis of the known absolute Seebeck coefficients of Au and Pt, the unknown Seebeck coefficient of the sample is calculated. The measurements are performed in inert atmospheres \((\hbox {N}_{2})\) and at low pressure (30 to 60) mbar in the temperature range between 300 K and 860 K. The measurement results of the Seebeck coefficients of metallic and semiconducting samples are presented. Achievable relative measurement uncertainties of the Seebeck coefficient are on the order of a few percent.


Absolute Seebeck coefficient Reference material Thermoelectric materials 



This work was funded by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) and the national metrology research program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physikalisch-Technische BundesanstaltBerlinGermany

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