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Issue 44, 2010
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Nanostructured materials for thermoelectric applications

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Recent studies indicate that nanostructuring can be an effective method for increasing the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in materials. Most of the enhancement in ZT can be attributed to large reductions in the lattice thermal conductivity due to increased phonon scattering at interfaces. Although significant gains have been reported, much higher ZTs in practical, cost-effective and environmentally benign materials are needed in order for thermoelectrics to become effective for large-scale, wide-spread power and thermal management applications. This review discusses the various synthetic techniques that can be used in the production of bulk scale nanostructured materials. The advantages and disadvantages of each synthetic method are evaluated along with guidelines and goals presented for an ideal thermoelectric material. With proper optimization, some of these techniques hold promise for producing high efficiency devices.

Graphical abstract: Nanostructured materials for thermoelectric applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jul 2010, accepted on 01 Sep 2010 and first published on 05 Oct 2010

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0CC02627A
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2010,46, 8311-8324
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    Nanostructured materials for thermoelectric applications

    S. K. Bux, J. Fleurial and R. B. Kaner, Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 8311
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CC02627A

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