Precise control of carrier density is essential to synthesize high-performance thermoelectric materials. Doping by impurities is often frustrated in n-type Bi2Te3 alloys by incomplete activation, bipolar doping, the formation of secondary phases, and prevailing intrinsic point defects such as vacancies. This weakens the reproducibility of synthesis processes and reduces the long-term reliability of material's performance, hence aging. Here, we explore an impurity-free doping technique to synthesize n-type bismuth tellurium selenides, combining a cold deformation and a hot extrusion. The cold deformation enables controlling the electron density in the range of ∼1019/cm3 via the formation of intrinsic point defects, and the hot extrusion allows texturing the microstructure to enhance the electrical conductivity, hence a large power factor of >5 × 10−3 W-m−1-K−2. We confirm that our process is very reproducible, and the properties of the samples are stable without aging even after thermal stresses. Using this method, we can decouple the relationship between bandgap, carrier density, and composition to improve the high-temperature thermoelectric property. Moreover, we demonstrate the fabrication of high-performance thermoelectric materials from low-graded, raw materials by modifying the degree of the mechanical deformation to reach an optimum carrier density. Our work provides a promising approach to synthesizing n-type thermoelectric materials in the reproducible and adaptable way.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from R&D Convergence Program of NST (National Research Council of Science & Technology) of Republic of Korea ( 1711021658 ), and KIST-UNIST partnership program through 2V04450 .
© 2018 Acta Materialia Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys