Effects of Bi2Se3 nanoparticle inclusions on the microstructure and thermoelectric properties of Bi2Te 3-based nanocomposites

Heejin Kim, Mi Kyung Han, Chul Hyun Yo, Wooyoung Lee, Sung Jin Kim

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A series of thermoelectric nanocomposite samples were prepared by integrating Bi2Se3 nanoparticles into a bulk Bi 2Te3 matrix. Primarily, spherical Bi2Se 3 nanoparticles with diameter of ∼30 nm were synthesized by combining bismuth acetate with elemental Te in oleic acid solution. Bi2Te3-based nanocomposite samples were prepared by consolidating the appropriate quantity of Bi2Se3 nanoparticles with the starting elements (Bi and Te) using typical solid-state synthetic reactions. The microstructure and composition of the Bi2Te3-based nanocomposites, as well as the effects of the Bi2Se3 nanoparticles on their thermoelectric properties, are investigated. Transmission electron microscopy observation of the Bi2Te3-based nanocomposites reveals two types of interface between the constituent materials, i.e., coherent and incoherent, depending on the Bi 2Se3 concentration. The Bi2Se3 nanoparticles in the Bi2Te3 matrix act as scattering centers for a wider range of phonon frequencies, thereby reducing the thermal conductivity. As a result, the maximum ZT value of 0.75 is obtained for the Bi2Te3 nanocomposite with 10 wt.% Bi2Se3 nanoparticles at room temperature. It is clear that the reduction in the thermal conductivity plays a central role in the enhancement of the ZT value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3411-3416
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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