Contrasting role of antimony and bismuth dopants on the thermoelectric performance of lead selenide

Yeseul Lee, Shih Han Lo, Changqiang Chen, Hui Sun, Duck Young Chung, Thomas C. Chasapis, Ctirad Uher, Vinayak P. Dravid*, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Increasing the conversion efficiency of thermoelectric materials is a key scientific driver behind a worldwide effort to enable heat to electricity power generation at competitive cost. Here we report an increased performance for antimony-doped lead selenide with a thermoelectric figure of merit of ~1.5 at 800 K. This is in sharp contrast to bismuth doped lead selenide, which reaches a figure of merit of <1. Substituting antimony or bismuth for lead achieves maximum power factors between ~23-27 μW cm-1 K-2 at temperatures above 400 K. The addition of small amounts (~0.25 mol%) of antimony generates extensive nanoscale precipitates, whereas comparable amounts of bismuth results in very few or no precipitates. The antimony-rich precipitates are endotaxial in lead selenide, and appear remarkably effective in reducing the lattice thermal conductivity. The corresponding bismuth-containing samples exhibit smaller reduction in lattice thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3640
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - May 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Contrasting role of antimony and bismuth dopants on the thermoelectric performance of lead selenide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this