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Defect Clustering and Nanostructure Formation in PbTe-based Bulk Thermoelectrics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Khang Hoang
Affiliation:
hoang@pa.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Physics and Astronomy, 4266 Biomedical and Physical Sciences, East Lansing, MI, 48824-2320, United States
S. D. Mahanti
Affiliation:
mahanti@pa.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, East Lansing, MI, 48824-2320, United States
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Abstract

In recent years, LAST-m (AgPbmSbTem+2) and related materials have emerged as potential high performance high temperature thermoelectrics. One example is LAST-18. When optimally doped, this compound has thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=1.7 at 700K. This large ZT is most likely due to the low lattice thermal conductivity, caused by phonon scattering from nanostructures. These nanostructures involve clustering and ordering of Ag, Sb, and Pb ions. The origin of these nanostructures has been studied using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation of an ionic model and ab initio studies of pair interaction energies. Effects of these substitutions on the band structure near the gap and their implications on transport properties are briefly discussed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2008

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