Developments and prospects of additive manufacturing for thermoelectric materials and technologies

Ahmad Baroutaji, Arun Arjunan, John Robinson, Mohamad Ramadan, Mohammad ali Abdelkareem, Aaron Vance, Abul Arafat, Abdul-Ghani Olabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In view of the increased demand for electricity and the associated environmental and financial concerns, there is an urgent need to develop technological solutions that can improve the efficiency of engineering systems and processes. Thermoelectric (TE) technologies, with their capability of direct conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy, are promising technologies for green power generation through using them as energy harvesting devices for waste heat recovery in industrial processes and power generation systems.

To date, TE technologies are still not commercialized on a large scale due to various economic and technical obstacles. The majority of previous research on TE technologies concentrated on improving the TE properties, such as electronic transport and figure-of-merit, while limited attempts were made to identify the best material processing techniques or reduce the cost of manufacturing. Conventional Manufacturing (CM) of TE materials and devices is multi-stage, complex, labour-intensive, time-consuming, and has high energy requirements. Thus, manufacturing challenges are considered key contributors toward limited industrial adoption of TE technologies.

The rapid advent of advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes, in recent years, caused dramatic changes in engineering design thinking and created opportunities to solve manufacturing challenges. With its significant capabilities, AM can be the route to address the shortcomings of CM of the thermoelectric technologies. In this regard, this paper presents an in-depth review of the literature studies on using AM technologies, such as selective laser melting, fused deposition modelling, direct ink writing, stereo lithography, etc., for manufacturing TE materials and devices. The benefits and challenges of each AM technology are discussed to identify their merits and the required future research. This paper demonstrates the role of AM in advancing green materials and technologies for solving some of the outstanding energy and environmental issues.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01008
JournalSustainable Materials and Technologies
Early online date6 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

Data Access Statement

Data will be made available on request.


  • Additive manufacturing
  • DIW
  • FDM
  • SLM
  • TEC
  • TEG
  • TEM
  • Thermoelectric


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