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Owing to energy conservation of waste heat, Lead telluride, PbTe, based materials have promising good thermoelectric properties around a range of middle temperature (Fig. 1, from 300 to 600°C), due to their high melting point, fine chemical stability, and the high figure of merit Z. The general physical properties and factors affecting the figure of merit have been reviewed. This research is focused on the n-type of PbTe materials and collocated with analysis of densities, hardness, elastic modulus, and thermoelectric properties thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=GS2T/κ (where G is electrical conductivity, S is Seebeck coefficient , T is absolute temperature, and κ is thermal conductivity). Room temperature hardness and Young’s modulus are measured by nano-indentation. In this study, the hot-press compacts under the pressure of 4 ton/cm2 can reach the maximum density about 8.2 g/cm3, and hardness and elastic modulus are 0.6 GPa and 70 GPa, respectively. The figure of merit value (ZT) of PbTe in low temperature (around 340°C) was found about 1 with carrier concentration above 1019 cm−3. These results also indicate that the powder metallurgy parameters provide potentialities for further increase of the high efficiency of energy conversion in PbTe materials.
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