Introducing nanoinclusions in thermoelectric (TE) materials is expected to lower the lattice thermal conductivity by intensifying the phonon scattering effect, thus enhancing their TE figure of merit ZT. We report a novel method of fabricating Bi 0.5Sb 1.5Te 3 nanocomposite with nanoscale metal particles by using metal acetate precursor, which is low cost and facile to scale up for mass production. Ag and Cu particles of ∼40 nm were successfully near-monodispersed at grain boundaries of Bi 0.5Sb 1.5Te 3 matrix. The well-dispersed metal nanoparticles reduce the lattice thermal conductivity extensively, while enhancing the power factor. Consequently, ZT was enhanced by more than 25% near room temperature and by more than 300% at 520 K compared with a Bi 0.5Sb 1.5Te 3 reference sample. The peak ZT of 1.35 was achieved at 400 K for 0.1 wt.% Cu-decorated Bi 0.5Sb 1.5Te 3.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
J.S. Rhyee was supported by Nano Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0030147).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry