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Issue 13, 2014
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Heavy element doping for enhancing thermoelectric properties of nanostructured zinc oxide

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Abstract

ZnO is a high melting point, high charge carrier mobility semiconductor with potential as a thermoelectric material, but its high thermal conductivity κ is the limiting factor for increasing the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. Here, we demonstrate that doping ZnO with heavy elements can significantly enhance ZT. Indium doping leads to ultralow κ ∼ 3 W m−1 K−1 and a high power factor α2σ ∼ 1.230 × 10−3 W m−1 K−2, yielding ZT1000K ∼ 0.45 that is ∼80% higher than non-nanostructured In–Zn–O alloys. Although Bi doping also yields a high Seebeck coefficient of α300K ∼ 500 μV K−1, Bi segregation, grain growth and defect complexing are unfavorable for increasing ZT. Thus, besides increased impurity scattering of phonons, the concurrence of nanostructuring and charge carrier concentration control is key to ZT enhancement. Our results open up a new means to realize high ZT thermoelectric nanomaterials based on ZnO.

Graphical abstract: Heavy element doping for enhancing thermoelectric properties of nanostructured zinc oxide

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Nov 2013, accepted on 28 Nov 2013 and first published on 18 Dec 2013


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA46813E
Citation: RSC Adv., 2014,4, 6363-6368
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    Heavy element doping for enhancing thermoelectric properties of nanostructured zinc oxide

    P. Jood, R. J. Mehta, Y. Zhang, T. Borca-Tasciuc, S. X. Dou, D. J. Singh and G. Ramanath, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 6363
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA46813E

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