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What is Seebeck Effect | What is Seebeck Coefficient

This page describes Seebeck Effect and Seebeck Coefficient definitions. It mentions Seebeck Coefficient formula or equation. It also mentions Seebeck coefficient of common materials such as silicon, carbon etc.

Seebeck Effect:
As we know thermocouple is composed of two different types of wires made of different materials. The conversion of heat energy into electric energy at the junction of different types of wires is known as Seebeck Effect.

Thermopile structure and mathematical equation

The voltage output of thermopile in response to temperature difference across the material is known as thermoelectric coefficient or seebeck coefficient. It is measured in volts per kelvin (V/K) or mV/K.

Seebeck Coefficient formula or equation

Following equation or formula is used to represent Seebeck coefficient.

➨Vout = N*S*(Tx-TREF)

Where, N is number of thermocouples used in a thermopile

Following table mentions Seebeck coefficient in µV/K which is relative to platinum.


Material type Seebeck coefficient
Silicon 440
Germanium 330
Copper, Silver, Gold 6.5
Cadmium, Tungsten 7.5
Lead 4.0
Aluminium 3.5
Carbon 3.0
Mercury 0.6

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