Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 October 2013
Nanostructuring is one of the effective approaches to lower the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials for improving its figure of merit. The nano-sized uniform skutterudite Co1−xNixSb3 (x = 0, 0.05, 0.075, 0.125, 0.15, and 0.25) thermoelectric powders were synthesized in triethylene glycol solution by using CoCl2, NiCl2, and SbCl3 as precursors and NaBH4 as the reductant. Different synthesis conditions were studied to pursue pure and uniform skutterudite CoSb3 powders. The powders were characterized by X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscope, and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. Experimental results show that a Ni-doped skutterudite Co1−xNixSb3 single phase was obtained at 290 °C for 12 h. The powders are spherical, small, and uniform. As x increases from 0 to 0.25, the unit-cell parameter a increases from 0.9044 to 0.9065 nm and the particle size increases from 10 to 30 nm.
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