Electronic inhomogeneity in n- and p-type PbTe detected by 125Te NMR

E. M. Levin*, J. P. Heremans, M. G. Kanatzidis, K. Schmidt-Rohr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


125Te nuclear magnetic resonance spectra and spin-lattice relaxation of n- and p-type PbTe, self-doping narrow band-gap semiconductors, have been studied and compared to those of p-type GeTe. Spin-lattice relaxation in GeTe can be fit by one component, while that in both PbTe samples must be fit by at least two components, showing electronically homogeneous and inhomogeneous materials, respectively. For PbTe-based materials, the spin-lattice relaxation rate 1/T1 increases linearly with carrier concentration. The data for GeTe fall on the same line and allow us to extend this plot to higher concentrations. Long and short T1 components in both PbTe samples reflect "low," ∼1017 cm-3, and "high," ∼1018 cm-3, carrier concentration components. Carrier concentrations in both n- and p-type PbTe samples obtained from the Hall and Seebeck effects generally match the "high" carrier concentration component, and to some extent, ignore the "low" one. This demonstrates that the Hall and Seebeck effects may have a limited ability for the determination of carrier concentration in complex thermoelectric PbTe-based and other multicomponent materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115211
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 30 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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