Three-dimensional (3D) flower-like PbTe dendrites have been successfully fabricated in high yield through a simple, facile solvothermal method in the presence of β-cyclodextrin. The as-prepared products were characterized by means of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM). Some reaction factors influencing the formation of flower-like PbTe dendrites were systematically investigated. The possible growth mechanism of the flower-like PbTe dendrites was proposed to be an oriented attachment accompanied by an Ostwald ripening process. Thermoelectric transport measurements indicated that the obtained PbTe has a Seebeck coefficient of about 313.3 and 349 μV K−1 at the temperatures of 300 and 400 K, up to about 18% and 32% higher than that of the bulk PbTe at room temperature. Our work provides a very simple, convenient, and fast route to synthesize PbTe flower-like dendrites which are potentially useful in thermoelectric devices.
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