Thermoelectric devices are heat engines, which operate as generators or refrigerators using the conduction electrons as a working fluid. The thermoelectric heat-to-work conversion efficiency has always been typically quite low, but much effort continues to be devoted to the design of new materials boasting improved transport properties that would make them of the electron crystal–phonon glass type of systems. On the other hand, there are comparatively few studies where a proper thermodynamic treatment of the electronic working fluid is proposed. The present article aims at contributing to bridge this gap by addressing both the thermodynamic and transport properties of the thermoelectric working fluid covering a variety of models, including interacting systems.
- Interacting systems
- Phase transitions