Enhancement of thermoelectric figure of merit for Bi 0.5Sb 1.5Te 3 by metal nanoparticle decoration

Kyu Hyoung Lee, Hyun Sik Kim, Sang Il Kim, Eun Sung Lee, Sang Mock Lee, Jong Soo Rhyee, Jae Yong Jung, Il Ho Kim, Yifeng Wang, Kunihito Koumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1169
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding 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


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