High Thermoelectric Performance in Supersaturated Solid Solutions and Nanostructured n-Type PbTe–GeTe

Zhong Zhen Luo, Xiaomi Zhang, Xia Hua, Gangjian Tan, Trevor P. Bailey, Jianwei Xu, Ctirad Uher, Chris Wolverton, Vinayak P. Dravid, Qingyu Yan*, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Sb-doped and GeTe-alloyed n-type thermoelectric materials that show an excellent figure of merit ZT in the intermediate temperature range (400–800 K) are reported. The synergistic effect of favorable changes to the band structure resulting in high Seebeck coefficient and enhanced phonon scattering by point defects and nanoscale precipitates resulting in reduction of thermal conductivity are demonstrated. The samples can be tuned as single-phase solid solution (SS) or two-phase system with nanoscale precipitates (Nano) based on the annealing processes. The GeTe alloying results in band structure modification by widening the bandgap and increasing the density-of-states effective mass of PbTe, resulting in significantly enhanced Seebeck coefficients. The nanoscale precipitates can improve the power factor in the low temperature range and further reduce the lattice thermal conductivity (κlat). Specifically, the Seebeck coefficient of Pb0.988Sb0.012Te–13%GeTe–Nano approaches −280 µV K−1 at 673 K with a low κlat of 0.56 W m−1 K−1 at 573 K. Consequently, a peak ZT value of 1.38 is achieved at 623 K. Moreover, a high average ZTavg value of ≈1.04 is obtained in the temperature range from 300 to 773 K for n-type Pb0.988Sb0.012Te–13%GeTe–Nano.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801617
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • GeTe alloying
  • n-type PbTe
  • thermal conductivity
  • thermoelectric materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'High Thermoelectric Performance in Supersaturated Solid Solutions and Nanostructured n-Type PbTe–GeTe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this