Point defect or doping in Strontium titanium oxide (STO) largely determines the thermoelectric (TE) properties. So far, insufficient knowledge exists on the impact of double Schottky barrier on the TE performance. Herein, we report a drastic effect of double Schottky barrier on the TE performance in undoped STO. It demonstrates that incorporation of Reduced Graphene Oxide (RGO) into undoped STO weakens the double Schottky barrier and thereby results in a simultaneous increase in both carrier concentration and mobility of undoped STO. The enhanced mobility exhibits single crystal-like behavior. This increase in the carrier concentration and mobility boosts the electrical conductivity and power factor of undoped STO, which is attributed to the reduction of the double Schottky barrier height and/or the band alignment of STO and RGO that allow the charge transfer through the interface at grain boundaries. Furthermore, this STO/RGO interface also enhances the phonon scattering, which results in low thermal conductivity. This strategy significantly increases the ratio of σ/κ, resulting in an enhancement in ZT as compared with pure undoped STO. This study opens a new window to optimize the TE properties of many candidate materials.
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The corresponding author, Prof. Soonil Lee, would like to acknowledge Prof. Gul Rahman at Department of Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan for his fruitful discussion to this work. The corresponidng author also thanks to Prof. Young Soo Lim, Pukyong National University in Korea, for inspiration of the RGO composite from his previous RGO composite work. This work was supported by the Industrial Technology Innovation Program (Industrial Materials Core Technology Development Program) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea (10052977). This work was also supported by a grant from the Industrial Core Technology Development Program (10083640) funded by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), Republic of Korea.
© 2019, The Author(s).
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