Structural Ceramics with Electrical Function as Thermoelectrics


Demonstration unit for power generation with a TEG (ECEMP – B3: Ceramic multi-component materials for cost-efficient thermoelectric systems).

A direct conversion of thermal energy into electricity can be done by using the Seebeck-Effect. The main advantage of thermoelctric energy conversion is the incomplex and robust construction of thermoelectric generators (TEG). A TEG do not need any rotating components, needs only a tiny volume and requires little operational costs. The only request for energy conversion is the existence of a permanent temperature gradient.

Thermoelectrical active materials with high Seebeck-coefficient, high electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity are requiered to built up a thermoelectric generator. Thermoelectric ceramics are not on the top position of thermoelectrics with concern to their property spectra but they add thermal and chemical stability, low thermal expansion, high availability and low processing costs to their value.

The synthesis and manufacture of thermoelectric components, coating, joining and manufacture of modules and the integration of thermoelectric modules into host systems, their characterization and simulation of module behaviour and operation have been under research and development at IKTS for more than 10 years.


Service offered


  • Development of ceramic thermoelectrics as titanium suboxide, boron carbide and mixed oxides with concern to electrical, thermal conductivity and Seebeck-Coefficient
  • Economic technologies of manufacture of ceramic thermoelectrics and components
  • Conception and application of concepts for ceramic based thermoelectric systems
  • Concepts and manufacture of oxidation protection systems for thermoelectric modules
  • Development and adaption of joining processes for thermoelectric components


Technical equipment


  • Complete material and product manufacture technologies for thermoelectric materials and components
  • Combined van der Pauw / Hall / Seebeck messurement in the range of room temperature up to 600 °C
  • Measurement of electrical conductivity up to 1400 °C
  • Thermal conductivity up to 1500 °C
  • Test stand for thermoelectric modules up to 600 °C




  • Modified boron rich boron carbide for thermoelectric applications
  • Defined titanium suboxide materials (Magneli phases) with high Seebeck-Coefficient and oxidation protection layer up 600 °C
  • p- and n- doped silicon carbide materials showing outstanding high electrical conductivity