High thermoelectric performance of a heterogeneous PbTe nanocomposite

Hongchao Wang, Junphil Hwang, Matthew Loren Snedaker, Il Ho Kim, Chanyoung Kang, Jungwon Kim, Galen D. Stucky, John Bowers, Woochul Kim

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72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a heterogeneous material for bulk thermoelectrics. By varying the quenching time of Na doped PbTe, followed by hot pressing, we synthesized heterogeneous nanocomposites, a mixture of nanodot nanocomposites and nanograined nanocomposites. It is well-known that by putting excess amounts of Na (i.e., exceeding the solubility limit) into PbTe, nanodots with sizes as small as a few nanometers can be formed. Nanograined regions with an average grain size of ca. 10 nm are observed only in materials synthesized with an extremely low quenching rate, which was achieved by using a quenching media of iced salt water and cold water. Dimensionless thermoelectric figures of merit, zT, of those heterogeneous nanocomposites exhibited a zT around 2.0 at 773 K, which is a 25% increase compared to zT of a homogeneous nanodot nanocomposite with the largest quenching time in our experiment, i.e. furnace cooled. The power factor increase is 5%, and the thermal conductivity reduction is 15%; thus, zT increase mainly comes from the thermal conductivity reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-949
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

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    Wang, H., Hwang, J., Snedaker, M. L., Kim, I. H., Kang, C., Kim, J., Stucky, G. D., Bowers, J., & Kim, W. (2015). High thermoelectric performance of a heterogeneous PbTe nanocomposite. Chemistry of Materials, 27(3), 944-949. https://doi.org/10.1021/cm5042138