Macroscopic thermoelectric inhomogeneities in (AgSbTe 2) x (PbTe) 1-x

Nancy Chen, Franck Gascoin, G. Jeffrey Snyder*, Eckhard Müller, Gabriele Karpinski, Christian Stiewe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Exceptionally high thermoelectric figure of merit (zT>2), has been reported for (Ag1-y Sb Te2) 0.05 (PbTe)0.95, which may involve the nanoscale microstructure. However, conflicting reports on the same materials claim only zT of 1 or less. Here we show that (Ag1-y Sb Te2) 0.05 (PbTe)0.95 materials are multiphase on the scale of millimeters despite appearing homogeneous by x-ray diffraction and routine electron microscopy. Using a scanning Seebeck microprobe, we find significant variation of Seebeck coefficient (including both n -type and p -type behavior in the same sample) that can explain the discrepancy in reported zT. More homogeneous samples can be prepared with faster cooling rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number171903
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 24 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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