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Issue 46, 2012
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A combinatorial approach to microstructure and thermopower of bulk thermoelectric materials: the pseudo-ternary PbTe–Ag2Te–Sb2Te3 system

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Abstract

The microstructures and Seebeck coefficients of thermoelectric alloys in the pseudo-ternary PbTe–Ag2Te–Sb2Te3 system were examined using samples that were compositionally graded by unidirectional solidification by the Bridgman method and diffusion couples. At compositions near the middle of the pseudo-binary PbTe–AgSbTe2 line, a compositionally modulated microstructure has been found. From diffusion couple experiments, it is found that the PbTe–AgSbTe2 system exhibits a miscibility gap at low temperatures while it forms a complete solid solution at high temperatures; the critical temperature is between 400 °C and 450 °C. The modulated microstructure originates from the decomposition of the high-temperature solid solution during cooling. Scanning Seebeck coefficient measurement on these samples covers a wide compositional space of the pseudo-ternary system. The Seebeck coefficient transitions from positive values at AgSbTe2-rich compositions to negative values at PbTe-rich compositions on the pseudo-binary PbTe–AgSbTe2 line. Composition-graded samples prepared by the Bridgman method are thus useful to investigate thermoelectric materials in multi-component systems.

Graphical abstract: A combinatorial approach to microstructure and thermopower of bulk thermoelectric materials: the pseudo-ternary PbTe–Ag2Te–Sb2Te3 system

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Apr 2012, accepted on 19 Jun 2012, published on 21 Jun 2012 and first published online on 21 Jun 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM32677A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 24335-24347
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    A combinatorial approach to microstructure and thermopower of bulk thermoelectric materials: the pseudo-ternary PbTe–Ag2Te–Sb2Te3 system

    T. Ikeda, S. Iwanaga, H. Wu, N. J. Marolf, S. Chen and G. J. Snyder, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 24335
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM32677A

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