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Issue 48, 2014
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SnTe–AgBiTe2 as an efficient thermoelectric material with low thermal conductivity

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Abstract

SnTe is an intriguing alternative to its sister compound PbTe in thermoelectric energy conversion because of their electronic and structural similarity; however, it is challenging to optimize its thermoelectric performance to the level of PbTe because of the difficulties in decreasing its intrinsically large hole population and high thermal conductivity arising from the tin vacancies. We demonstrate here that by alloying some AgBiTe2 in SnTe, thus forming AgSnxBiTex+2 compositions the hole concentration can be duly decreased because of the high efficiency of Bi as an electron donor. The lattice thermal conductivity is also decreased due to the strong scattering of phonons (by point defect scattering as well as Ag-rich nanostructures) to achieve a value of ∼0.7 W m−1 K−1 at ∼750 K. As a result, a high thermoelectric figure ZT of merit of ∼1.1 at 775 K is achieved by chemical composition optimization (×∼15), making lead free SnTe–AgBiTe2 a promising thermoelectric material.

Graphical abstract: SnTe–AgBiTe2 as an efficient thermoelectric material with low thermal conductivity

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
16 Oct 2014
Accepted
16 Oct 2014
First published
10 Nov 2014

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 20849-20854
Article type
Paper
Author version available

SnTe–AgBiTe2 as an efficient thermoelectric material with low thermal conductivity

G. Tan, F. Shi, H. Sun, L. Zhao, C. Uher, V. P. Dravid and M. G. Kanatzidis, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 20849
DOI: 10.1039/C4TA05530F

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