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Issue 40, 2015
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Heterostructures of skutterudites and germanium antimony tellurides – structure analysis and thermoelectric properties of bulk samples

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Abstract

Heterostructures of germanium antimony tellurides with skutterudite-type precipitates are promising thermoelectric materials due to low thermal conductivity and multiple ways of tuning their electronic transport properties. Materials with the nominal composition [CoSb2(GeTe)0.5]x(GeTe)10.5Sb2Te3 (x = 0–2) contain nano- to microscale precipitates of skutterudite-type phases which are homogeneously distributed. Powder X-ray diffraction reveals that phase transitions of the germanium antimony telluride matrix depend on its GeTe content. These are typical for this class of materials; however, the phase transition temperatures are influenced by heterostructuring in a beneficial way, yielding a larger existence range of the intrinsically nanostructured pseudocubic structure of the matrix. Using microfocused synchrotron radiation in combination with crystallite pre-selection by means of electron microscopy, single crystals of the matrix as well as of the precipitates were examined. They show nano-domain twinning of the telluride matrix and a pronounced structure distortion in the precipitates caused by GeTe substitution. Thermoelectric figures of merit of 1.4 ± 0.3 at 450 °C are observed. In certain temperature ranges, heterostructuring involves an improvement of up to 30% compared to the homogeneous material.

Graphical abstract: Heterostructures of skutterudites and germanium antimony tellurides – structure analysis and thermoelectric properties of bulk samples

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 May 2015, accepted on 31 Jul 2015 and first published on 31 Jul 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TC01509J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015,3, 10525-10533
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    Heterostructures of skutterudites and germanium antimony tellurides – structure analysis and thermoelectric properties of bulk samples

    F. Fahrnbauer, S. Maier, M. Grundei, N. Giesbrecht, M. Nentwig, T. Rosenthal, G. Wagner, G. J. Snyder and O. Oeckler, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015, 3, 10525
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TC01509J

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