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The Criteria for Beneficial Disorder in Thermoelectric Solid Solutions

Wang, Heng and LaLonde, Aaron D. and Pei, Yanzhong and Snyder, G. Jeffrey (2013) The Criteria for Beneficial Disorder in Thermoelectric Solid Solutions. Advanced Functional Materials, 23 (12). pp. 1586-1596. ISSN 1616-301X. doi:10.1002/adfm.201201576.

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Forming solid solutions has long been considered an effective approach for good thermoelectrics because the lattice thermal conductivities are lower than those of the constituent compounds due to phonon scattering from disordered atoms. However, this effect could also be compensated by a reduction in carrier mobility due to electron scattering from the same disorder. Using a detailed study of n-type (PbTe)_(1–x) (PbSe)_x solid solution (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) as a function of composition, temperature, and doping level, quantitative modeling of transport properties reveals the important parameters characterizing these effects. Based on this analysis, a general criterion for the improvement of zT due to atomic disorder in solid solutions is derived and can be applied to several thermoelectric solid solutions, allowing a convenient prediction of whether better thermoelectric performance could be achieved in a given solid solution. Alloying is shown to be most effective at low temperatures and in materials that are unfavorable for thermoelectrics in their unalloyed forms: high lattice thermal conductivity (stiff materials with low Grüneisen parameters) and high deformation potential.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Snyder, G. Jeffrey0000-0003-1414-8682
Additional Information:© 2013 Wiley-VCH Verlag. Issue published online: 13 Mar 2013. Article first published online: 22 Oct 2012. Manuscript Received: 12 Jun 2012. The authors thank Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency’s Nano-Structured Materials for Power program and National Aeronautics and Space Administration–Jet Propulsion Laboratory for financial support.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency Nano-Structured Materials for Power ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: alloys; thermoelectrics; figure of merit; solid solutions
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130424-134633295
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Official Citation:Wang, H., LaLonde, A. D., Pei, Y. and Snyder, G. J. (2013), The Criteria for Beneficial Disorder in Thermoelectric Solid Solutions. Adv. Funct. Mater., 23: 1586–1596. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201201576
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38100
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:24 Apr 2013 21:12
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:33

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