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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 August 2013

Su (Ike) Chih Chi
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
Stephen L. Farias
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
Robert C. Cammarata
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
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Abstract

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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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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