Thermal conductivity reduction and thermoelectric figure of merit increase by embedding nanoparticles in crystalline semiconductors

Woochul Kim, Joshua Zide, Arthur Gossard, Dmitri Klenov, Susanne Stemmer, Ali Shakouri, Arun Majumdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

708 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atomic substitution in alloys can efficiently scatter phonons, thereby reducing the thermal conductivity in crystalline solids to the "alloy limit". Using In0.53Ga0.47As containing ErAs nanoparticles, we demonstrate thermal conductivity reduction by almost a factor of 2 below the alloy limit and a corresponding increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit by a factor of 2. A theoretical model suggests that while point defects in alloys efficiently scatter short-wavelength phonons, the ErAs nanoparticles provide an additional scattering mechanism for the mid-to-long-wavelength phonons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045901
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume96
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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