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Thermoelectric performance of tellurium-reduced quaternary p-type lead–chalcogenide composites

Yamini, Sima Aminorroaya and Wang, Heng and Gibbs, Zachary M. and Pei, Yanzhong and Mitchell, David R. G. and Dou, Shi Xue and Snyder, G. Jeffrey (2014) Thermoelectric performance of tellurium-reduced quaternary p-type lead–chalcogenide composites. Acta Materialia, 80 . pp. 365-372. ISSN 1359-6454.

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A long-standing technological challenge to the widespread application of thermoelectric generators is obtaining high-performance thermoelectric materials from abundant elements. Intensive study on PbTe alloys has resulted in a high figure of merit for the single-phase ternary PbTe–PbSe system through band structure engineering, and the low thermal conductivity achieved due to nanostructuring leads to high thermoelectric performance for ternary PbTe–PbS compounds. Recently, the single-phase p-type quaternary PbTe–PbSe–PbS alloys have been shown to provide thermoelectric performance superior to the binary and ternary lead chalcogenides. This occurs via tuning of the band structure and from an extraordinary low thermal conductivity resulting from high-contrast atomic mass solute atoms. Here, we present the thermoelectric efficiency of nanostructured p-type quaternary PbTe–PbSe–PbS composites and compare the results with corresponding single-phase quaternary lead chalcogenide alloys. We demonstrate that the very low lattice thermal conductivity achieved is attributed to phonon scattering at high-contrast atomic mass solute atoms rather than from the contribution of secondary phases. This results in a thermoelectric efficiency of ∼1.4 over a wide temperature range (650–850 K) in a p-type quaternary (PbTe)_(0.65)(PbSe)_(0.1)(PbS)_(0.25) composite that is lower than that of single-phase (PbTe)_(0.85)(PbSe)_(0.1)(PbS)_(0.05) alloy without secondary phases.

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Snyder, G. Jeffrey0000-0003-1414-8682
Additional Information:© 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 2 May 2014; received in revised form 26 June 2014; accepted 27 June 2014. Available online 29 August 2014. This work is supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Award DE130100310, the Department of Education, Science and Technology (DEST) of Australia, the Materials Project funded by US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences program under Grant No. EDCBEE, DOE contract DE-AC02-05CH11231 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research—Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (AFOSR-MURI) and the Russian Ministry of Education.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research Council (ARC)DE130100310
Department of Education, Science and Technology (DEST) of AustraliaUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)EDCBEE
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Russian Ministry of EducationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Pb–chalcogenide; Thermoelectric materials; Cost-effective; Composite
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141204-151300506
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Official Citation:Sima Aminorroaya Yamini, Heng Wang, Zachary M. Gibbs, Yanzhong Pei, David R.G. Mitchell, Shi Xue Dou, G. Jeffrey Snyder, Thermoelectric performance of tellurium-reduced quaternary p-type lead–chalcogenide composites, Acta Materialia, Volume 80, November 2014, Pages 365-372, ISSN 1359-6454, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52410
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:05 Dec 2014 16:39
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:42

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