High-Performance Thermoelectrics from Cellular Nanostructured Sb2Si2Te6

Yubo Luo, Songting Cai, Shiqiang Hao, Florian Pielnhofer, Ido Hadar, Zhong Zhen Luo, Jianwei Xu, Chris Wolverton, Vinayak P. Dravid, Arno Pfitzner*, Qingyu Yan, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Thermoelectric materials promise to create additional efficiencies in energy management by harvesting the energy of waste heat and converting it to electricity. We introduce 2D Sb2Si2Te6 as a promising new high-performance thermoelectric material. Sb2Si2Te6 exhibits an intrinsically high thermoelectric figure of merit ZT value of ∼1.08 at 823 K. We then devise a unique cellular nanostructure by a post-synthetic reaction strategy that forms in situ Si2Te3 nanosheets, which serve as an effective barrier to heat propagation, yielding an ∼40% reduction in the already very low lattice thermal conductivity to ∼0.29 Wm−1K−1 at 823 K. The cellular nanostructure enables a very high ZT value of ∼1.65 at 823 K for this new material and a high average ZT value of 0.98 (400–823 K). We describe the novel cellular nanostructure design and a single-step chemical route to achieve it, highlighting a potentially new and effective general design strategy for achieving high thermoelectric performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020


  • SbSiTe
  • Seebeck coefficient
  • SiTe
  • cellular nanostructure
  • core-shell
  • minority blocking
  • narrow gap semiconductors
  • thermoelectric
  • waste heat recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

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    Luo, Y., Cai, S., Hao, S., Pielnhofer, F., Hadar, I., Luo, Z. Z., Xu, J., Wolverton, C., Dravid, V. P., Pfitzner, A., Yan, Q., & Kanatzidis, M. G. (2020). High-Performance Thermoelectrics from Cellular Nanostructured Sb2Si2Te6 Joule, 4(1), 159-175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.10.010