The successful development of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for automotive applications requires advances on several fronts: (1) abundant, low cost, and efficient thermoelectric (TE) materials, (2) industry-scalable material synthesis and device fabrication process, and (3) cost-efficient and reliable integration into existing vehicle systems. Most vehicle TEG approaches to date use flat, prefabricated modules that are placed in contact with a custom-built exhaust component/heat exchanger to capture waste heat. We are developing a single-step, integrated approach involving non-equilibrium synthesis, 3D conformal deposition and rapid formation of patterned structures, which is well-suited for large-scale waste-heat TEG applications.

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