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A Novel Approach to Synthesize Lanthanum Telluride Thermoelectric Thin Films in Ambient Conditions

  • Su (Ike) Chih Chi (a1), Stephen L. Farias (a1) and Robert C. Cammarata (a1) (a2)


Rare-earth telluride compounds are characterized by their high performance thermoelectric properties that have been applied to the development of functional materials [1]. Recently, May and co-workers reported that nanostructured bulk lanthanum telluride (La3-xTe4, 0 ≤ x ≤ 1/3) by mechanical ball-milling exceeded the figure of merit (ZT) of 1 at high temperatures near 1300K [2-3]. Since the increased thermoelectric efficiency of nanostructured materials is due to the enhancement of phonon scattering introduced by quantum confinement, thin films have also generated significant scientific and technological interest [4-6]. Here, we report on the electrodepostion of lanthanum telluride and lanthanum thin films in ionic liquids in ambient conditions. Surface morphologies varied from needle-like to granular structures and depend on deposition conditions. This novel electrochemical synthesis approach is a simple, inexpensive and laboratory-environment friendly method of synthesizing nanostructured thermoelectric materials.



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