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The thermoelectric properties of materials with compositions NaPb18-xSnxMTe20 (M=Sb, Bi, x=0, 3, 5, 9, 13, 16 and 18) were investigated in the temperature range 300-670K. All compositions exhibited p-type behavior over the measured temperature range. Electronic properties and transport were tuned through the manipulation of the Pb/Sn ratio. Increasing the Sn fraction results in an increase in electrical conductivity and a decrease in thermopower. The compositions NaPb13Sn5SbTe20 and NaPb9Sn9SbTe20 show a lattice thermal conductivity of ∼1 W/m/K at room temperature.
The preparation and characterization of the AgPbmSbTem+2 family of compounds with m=2, 4, 6, and 8 is reported. Phase segregation was observed in all of these materials. The lattice thermal conductivity of these samples is low (<1.1 W/m-K). Powder x-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, and electron microscope investigations of these systems show that ideal solid solutions are not formed. The transport properties of these composite materials are presented and suggest that they could have promising thermoelectric properties when optimized.
The thermoelectric properties of Pb9.6SbyTe10−xSex were investigated in the intermediate temperature range of 300 – 700 K. The effect of the variation of Sb content (y) on the electronic properties of the materials is remarkable. Samples with compositions Pb9.6Sb0.2Te10−xSex (y = 0.2) show the best combination of low thermal conductivity with moderate electrical conductivity and thermopower. For Pb9.6Sb0.2Te8Se2 (x = 2) a maximum figure of merit of ZT ∼ 1.1 was obtained around 700 K. This value is nearly 1.4 times higher than that of PbTe at 700 K. This enhancement of the figure of merit of Pb9.6Sb0.2Te8Se2 derives from its extremely low thermal conductivity (∼0.7 at W/m.K at 700 K). High resolution transmission electron microscopy of Pb9.6Sb0.2Te10−xSex samples shows broadly distributed Sb-rich nanocrystals, which may be the key feature responsible for the suppression of the thermal conductivity.
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