Skip to main content Accessibility help

Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructured Bulk Skutterudites

  • Mohsen Y. Tafti (a1), Mohsin Saleemi (a1), Alexandre Jacquot (a2), Martin Jägle (a2), Mamoun Muhammed (a1) and Muhammet S. Toprak (a1)...


Latest nanotechnology concepts applied in thermoelectric (TE) research have opened many new avenues to improve the ZT value. Low dimensional structures can improve the ZT value as compared to bulk materials by substantial reduction in the lattice thermal conductivity, κL. However, the materials were not feasible for the industrial scale production of macroscopic devices because of complicated and costly manufacturing processes involved. Bulk nanostructured (NS) TEs are normally fabricated using a bulk process rather than a nano-fabrication process, which has the important advantage of producing in large quantities and in a form that is compatible with commercially available TE devices.

We developed fabrication strategies for bulk nanostructured skutterudite materials based on FexCo1-xSb3. The process is based on precipitation of a precursor material with the desired metal atom composition, which is then exposed to thermochemical processing of calcination followed by reduction. The resultant material thus formed maintains nanostructured particles which are then compacted using Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) by utilizing previously optimized process parameters. Microstructure, crystallinity, phase composition, thermal stability and temperature dependent transport property evaluation has been performed for compacted NS FexCo1-xSb3. Evaluation results are presented in detail, suggesting the feasibility of devised strategy for bulk quantities of doped TE nanopowder fabrication.



Hide All
[1] Zhou, C., Sakamoto, J., and Morelli, D., “Low-Temperature Thermoelectric Properties of Co0.9Fe0.1Sb3-Based Skutterudite Nanocomposites with FeSb2 Nanoinclusions,” Journal of Electronic Materials, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 547550, 2010.
[2] Kawaharada, Y., Kurosaki, K., Uno, M., and Yamanaka, S., “Thermoelectric properties of CoSb3,” vol. 315, pp. 193197, 2001.
[3] Toprak, M.; Zhang, Yu; Muhammed, M.; Zakhidov, A.A.; Baughman, R.H.; Khayrullin, I., “Chemical route to nano-engineered skutterudites,” Thermoelectrics, 1999. Eighteenth International Conference on, vol., no., pp.382,385, Aug. 29 1999-Sept. 2 1999 doi: 10.1109/ICT.1999.843410
[4] Rowe, David. M., “Nanostructured Skutterudite” in Thermoelectrics Handbook: Macro to Nano” 1st edition Great Britain, Taylor and Francis, 2006, chapter 41, Page 41–1, 978–0849322648
[5] Zhou, C., Sakamoto, J., Morelli, D., Zhou, X., Wang, G., and Uher, C., “Thermoelectric properties of Co0.9Fe0.1Sb3-based skutterudite nanocomposites with FeSb2 nanoinclusions,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 109, no. 6, p. 063722, 2011.
[6] Toprak, M. S., Stiewe, C., Platzek, D., Williams, S., Bertini, L., Müller, E., Gatti, C., Zhang, Y., Rowe, M., and Muhammed, M., “The Impact of Nanostructuring on the Thermal Conductivity of Thermoelectric CoSb3 ,” Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. 11891196, 2004.
[7] Yang, J., Meisner, G., Morelli, D., and Uher, C., “Iron valence in skutterudites: Transport and magnetic properties of Co1-xFexSb3 ,” Physical Review B, vol. 63, no. 1, p. 014410, 2000.
[8] Rowe, David. M., “Skutterudite-based Thermoelectrics” in Thermoelectrics Handbook: Macro to Nano” 1st edition Great Britain, Taylor and Francis, 2006, chapter 34, Page 34–1, 978–0849322648
[9] Park, K. H., Ur, S. C., and Kim, I. H., “Thermoelectric Properties of Co1-xFexSb3 Prepared by Encapsulated Induction Melting,” Solid State Phenomena, vol. 124126, pp. 939942, 2007.
[10] Shi, X., Kong, H., Li, C.-P., Uher, C., Yang, J., Salvador, J. R., Wang, H., Chen, L., and Zhang, W., “Low thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit in n-type BaxYbyCo 4Sb12 double-filled skutterudites,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 92, no. 18, p. 182101, 2008.
[11] Anno, H., Matsubara, K., Notohara, Y., Sakakibara, T., and Tashiro, H., “Effects of doping on the transport properties of CoSb3 ,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 86, no. 7, p. 3780, 1999.
[12] Yang, L., Hng, H. H., Li, D., Yan, Q. Y., Ma, J., Zhu, T. J., Zhao, X. B., and Huang, H., “Thermoelectric properties of p-type CoSb3 nanocomposites with dispersed CoSb3 nanoparticles,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 106, no. 1, p. 013705, 2009.
[13] Tang, X., Zhang, Q., Chen, L., Goto, T., and Hirai, T., “Synthesis and thermoelectric properties of p-type- and n-type-filled skutterudite RyMxCo4−xSb12 (R: Ce, Ba, Y;M: Fe, Ni),” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 97, no. 9, p. 093712, 2005.
[14] Yang, X., Zhai, P., Liu, L., and Zhang, Q., “Thermodynamic and mechanical properties of crystalline CoSb3: A molecular dynamics simulation study,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 109, no. 12, p. 123517, 2011.
[15] Zhou, A., Liu, L., Zhai, P., Zhao, W., and Zhang, Q., “Electronic structure and transport properties of single and double filled CoSb3 with atoms Ba, Yb and In,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 109, no. 11, p. 113723, 2011.
[16] Dong, N., Jia, X., Su, T. C., Yu, F. R., Tian, Y. J., Jiang, Y. P., Deng, L., and Ma, H. a., “HPHT synthesis and thermoelectric properties of CoSb3 and Fe0.6Co3.4Sb12 skutterudites,” Journal of Alloys and Compounds, vol. 480, no. 2, pp. 882884, 2009.
[17] Hornbostel, M. D., Hyer, E. J., Thiel, J., and Johnson, D. C., “Rational Synthesis of Metastable Skutterudite Compounds Using Multilayer Precursors,” vol. 7863, no. 96, pp. 26652668, 1997.
[18] Zhou, C., Morelli, D., Zhou, X., Wang, G., and Uher, C., “Thermoelectric properties of P-type Yb-filled skutterudite YbxFeyCo4-ySb12 ,” Intermetallics, vol. 19, no. 10, pp. 13901393, 2011.
[19] Park, K., You, S., Ur, S., and Kim, I., “Electronic Transport Properties of Fe-doped CoSb3 Prepared by Encapsulated Induction Melting,” pp. 14, 2006.
[20] Park, K. H., Il Lee, J., Ur, S. C., and Kim, I. H., “Thermoelectric Properties of Fe-Doped CoSb3 Prepared by Encapsulated Induction Melting and Hot Pressing,” Materials Science Forum, vol. 534536, pp. 15571560, 2007.
[21] Slack, G. a. and Tsoukala, V. G., “Some properties of semiconducting IrSb3 ,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 76, no. 3, p. 1665, 1994.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed