Heterogeneous Distribution of Sodium for High Thermoelectric Performance of p-type Multiphase Lead-Chalcogenides

Sima Aminorroaya Yamini*, David R G Mitchell, Zachary M. Gibbs, Rafael Santos, Vaughan Patterson, Sean Li, Yan Zhong Pei, Shi Xue Dou, G. Jeffrey Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Despite the effectiveness of sodium as a p-type dopant for lead chalcogenides, its solubility is shown to be very limited in these hosts. Here, a high thermoelectric efficiency of ≈2 over a wide temperature range is reported in multiphase quaternary (PbTe)0.65(PbS)0.25(PbSe)0.1 compounds that are doped with sodium at concentrations greater than the solubility limits of the matrix. Although these compounds present room temperature thermoelectric efficiencies similar to sodium doped PbTe, a dramatically enhanced Hall carrier mobility at temperatures above 600 K for heavily doped compounds results in significantly enhanced thermoelectric efficiencies at elevated temperatures. This is achieved through the composition modulation doping mechanism resulting from heterogeneous distribution of the sodium dopant between precipitates and the matrix at elevated temperatures. These results can lead to further advances in designing high performance multiphase thermoelectric materials with intrinsically heterogeneous dopant distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1501047
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015


  • lead chalcogenides
  • modulation doping
  • nanostructures
  • sodium
  • thermoelectric materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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