Materials development and module fabrication in highly efficient lead tellurides

Michihiro Ohta, Priyanka Jood, Raju Chetty, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses new strategies leading to significant improvements in the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) and examines recent advances in module fabrication of lead telluride (PbTe)-based materials. PbTe is a traditional thermoelectric material for high-temperature use (600-900K); its ZT value continues to increase with the application of new strategies and have exceeded ~2.5 for p-type PbTe and ~1.8 for n-type PbTe. The reduction in lattice thermal conductivity by nanostructuring/hierarchical architecturing has been intensively studied in PbTe-based materials. The improvement of thermoelectric power factor by electronic band engineering has also been extensively developed in PbTe. The technology transfer between material development and module fabrication has already begun with the newly developed high-ZT PbTe. An efficiency of ~12% has been demonstrated in a cascade-type module made of nanostructured PbTe and Bi2Te3 for a hot-side temperature of 873K and a cold-side temperature of 283K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThermoelectric Energy Conversion
Subtitle of host publicationTheories and Mechanisms, Materials, Devices, and Applications
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128185353
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Band convergence
  • Band engineering
  • Bipolar thermal conductivity
  • Diffusion barrier
  • Hierarchical architecturing
  • Lead telluride
  • Module fabrication
  • Nanostructuring
  • Power generation
  • Thermoelectrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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