Grain Boundary Engineering Nanostructured SrTiO3 for Thermoelectric Applications

Maxwell T. Dylla, Jimmy Jiahong Kuo, Ian Witting, Gerald Jeffrey Snyder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Nanostructuring to reduce thermal conductivity is among the most promising strategies for designing next-generation, high-performance thermoelectric materials. In practice, electrical grain boundary resistance can overwhelm the thermal conductivity reduction induced by nanostructuring, which results in worse overall performance. Since a large body of work has characterized the transport of both polycrystalline ceramics and single crystals of SrTiO3, it is an ideal material system for conducting a case study of electrical grain boundary resistance. An effective mass model is used to characterize the transport signatures of electrical grain boundary resistance and evaluate thermodynamic design principles for controlling that resistance. Treating the grain boundary as a secondary phase to the bulk crystallites explains the transport phenomena. Considering that the interface can be engineered by controlling oxygen partial pressure, temperature, and the addition of extrinsic elements into the grain boundary phase, the outlook for SrTiO3 as a nanostructured thermoelectric is promising, and the zT could be greater than 0.5 at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900222
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • grain boundary
  • graphene
  • point defects
  • strontium titanate
  • thermoelectric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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