Most recent increases in thermoelectric performance have come by reducing thermal conductivity through nanostructuring. Therefore, current research efforts focus mainly on bulk nanocomposites. We simulated the thermal conductivities of two types of nanocomposites. We nanostructured Tl 0.02Pb0.98Te by (i) embedding InSb nanodots in it, creating a nanodot nanocomposite, and (ii) polycrystallizing it, creating a nanograined nanocomposite. The nanograined nanocomposite achieved lower thermal conductivity than did the nanodot nanocomposite due to the ability of the nanosized grains in nanograined nanocomposites to effectively scatter phonons over a wide range of frequencies, as long as the nanograined nanocomposite has sufficiently small grain size.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (Grant Nos. KRF-2009-314-C00107, 2009K000452, and 2008-0058653/2009-0058653), Seoul Research and Business Development Program (Grant No. ST090859), and the Low Observable Technology Research Center Program of Defense Acquisition Program Administration and Agency for Defense Development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)