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Issue 40, 2015
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Interfacial reactions between PbTe-based thermoelectric materials and Cu and Ag bonding materials

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Abstract

The development of reliable bonding materials for PbTe-based thermoelectric modules that can undergo long-term operations at high temperature is carried out. Two cost-effective materials, Cu and Ag, are isothermally hot-pressed to PbTe-based thermoelectric materials at 550 °C for 3 h under a pressure of 40 MPa by the rapid hot-pressing method. Scanning electron microscopy, electron probe micro-analysis, and X-ray diffraction analysis are employed to identify intermetallic compounds, chemical reactions, and microstructure evolution after the initial assembly and subsequent isothermal aging at 400 °C and 550 °C. We find that Cu diffuses faster than Ag in PbTe. Neither Cu nor Ag is a good bonding material because they both react vigorously with Pb0.6Sn0.4Te. In order to be able to use Cu electrodes, it would be necessary to insert a diffusion barrier to prevent Cu diffusion into PbTe.

Graphical abstract: Interfacial reactions between PbTe-based thermoelectric materials and Cu and Ag bonding materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jun 2015, accepted on 06 Aug 2015 and first published on 06 Aug 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TC01662B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015,3, 10590-10596
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    Interfacial reactions between PbTe-based thermoelectric materials and Cu and Ag bonding materials

    C. C. Li, F. Drymiotis, L. L. Liao, H. T. Hung, J. H. Ke, C. K. Liu, C. R. Kao and G. J. Snyder, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015, 3, 10590
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TC01662B

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