The effects of diffusion barrier layers on the microstructural and electrical properties in CoSb3 thermoelectric modules

Byeongcheol Song, Seokhee Lee, Sungmee Cho, Min Jung Song, Soon Mok Choi, Won Seon Seo, Youngsoo Yoon, Wooyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We report the microstructure and electrical properties of CoSb3 legs on which Au, Pt, and Ti are deposited by ultra-high-vacuum (UHV) radio frequency (RF) sputtering. After annealing, an intermetallic compound (IMC) layer, approximately 320 nm thick, forms at the interface of CoSb 3/Ti. This layer plays a significant role as a diffusion barrier in a CoSb3 thermoelectric (TE) module. The IMC layer has little effect on the electrical properties of CoSb3/Ti. However, no IMC layers were observed in CoSb3/Au and CoSb3/Pt, where Au and Pt diffused into the CoSb3 leg to a great depth. Our results demonstrate that a Ti layer on a CoSb3 leg deposited by a sputtering system is effective to form the IMC layer, preventing further diffusion of Ti and giving rise to enhance the efficiency of CoSb3 TE modules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-162
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by DAPA and ADD under the contract No. UC120037GD , the Priority Research Centers Program ( 2009-0093823 ), and the Pioneer Research Center Program ( 2010-0019313 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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