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Issue 36, 2017
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Enhancement in thermoelectric performance of SiGe nanoalloys dispersed with SiC nanoparticles

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Abstract

SiGe is one of the most widely used thermoelectric materials for radioisotope thermoelectric generator applications for harnessing waste-heat at high temperatures. In the present study, we report a simple experimental strategy for enhancing the thermoelectric and mechanical properties of n-type SiGe nanoalloys by dispersing SiC nanoparticles in a SiGe nanoalloy matrix. This strategy yielded a high value of figure-of-merit (ZT) of ∼1.7 at 900 °C in the SiGe/SiC nanocomposite, which is nearly twice that reported for its pristine bulk counterpart and ∼15% higher than that of pristine SiGe nanoalloys. This significant enhancement in the ZT primarily originates from a reduction in the lattice thermal conductivity, owing to a high density of nano-scale interfaces, lattice-scale modulations and mass fluctuations, which lead to extensive scattering of heat-carrying phonons. The dispersion of SiC nanoparticles also significantly enhances the mechanical properties of the resulting SiGe/SiC nanocomposite, including fracture toughness and hardness. The enhancement in the thermoelectric and mechanical properties of the SiGe/SiC nanocomposites has been correlated with their microstructural features, elucidated employing X-ray diffraction, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy.

Graphical abstract: Enhancement in thermoelectric performance of SiGe nanoalloys dispersed with SiC nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jun 2017, accepted on 31 Aug 2017 and first published on 31 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04240J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 25180-25185
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    Enhancement in thermoelectric performance of SiGe nanoalloys dispersed with SiC nanoparticles

    S. Bathula, M. Jayasimhadri, B. Gahtori, A. Kumar, A. K. Srivastava and A. Dhar, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 25180
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04240J

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