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Title: Local nanostructures enhanced the thermoelectric performance of n-PbTe
Authors: Xiang, Bo
Liu, Jiaqin
Yan, Jian
Xia, Minggang
Zhang, Qi
Chen, Lingxue
Li, Jiayong
Tan, Xian Yi
Yan, Qingyu
Wu, Yucheng
Keywords: Engineering::Materials::Functional materials
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Xiang, B., Liu, J., Yan, J., Xia, M., Zhang, Q., Chen, L., Li, J., Tan, X. Y., Yan, Q. & Wu, Y. (2019). Local nanostructures enhanced the thermoelectric performance of n-PbTe. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 7(31), 18458-18467.
Project: MOE 2018-T2-1-010 
SERC 1527200022 
Journal: Journal of Materials Chemistry A 
Abstract: Microstructure controlling and carrier concentration engineering are effective approaches to optimize thermal transport and electrical properties in thermoelectric materials. Hereby, we have developed a facile strategy to reduce the lattice thermal conductivity separately by creating locally nanostructured PbTe with controlled size in micro-sized PbTe frame. This is realized by using building blocks of PbTe nanocubes and PbTe@C:Ag nanoparticles with carbon shell as diffusion barrier to prevent grain growth during spark plasma sintering (SPS), while uncoated PbTe nanocubes grow to the micro-sized frame. The locally nano-structured PbTe/PbTe@C:Ag successfully integrates multiple defects that involve Ag based nano-precipitates, nano/micro-sized grain boundaries/interfaces, pores and other defects. They collectively scatter phonons in low-middle frequencies to reduce lattice thermal conductivity significantly in low-temperature range. In addition, Ag exhibits dynamic doping behavior due to more interstitial Ag in PbTe lattice at elevated temperature. This could further enhance the high-frequency phonons scattering and suppress bipolar effect in high-temperature range, leading to an ultralow lattice thermal conductivity of 0.39 W m-1 K-1 at 723 K. On the other hand, the micro-sized PbTe frame with Ag nanoparticles at boundaries maintains relatively high carrier mobility. Further considering the higher carrier concentration due to Ag dynamic doping at elevated temperature, a high power factor of 20.4 μW cm-1 K-2 has been achieved at 723 K. Consequently, a peak figure of merit of 1.65 was achieved at 723K in PbTe/7%PbTe@C:Ag. Our strategy shows superiority in constructing desired nano-, microstructures and tuneable carrier concentration of PbTe towards high thermoelectric performance.
ISSN: 2050-7488
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06247E
Schools: School of Materials Science and Engineering 
Rights: © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A and is made available with permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MSE Journal Articles

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