Optimizing thermoelectric efficiency in La3-xTe4 via Yb substitution

Andrew F. May, Jean Pierre Fleurial, G. Jeffrey Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A low temperature, solid state synthesis technique has enabled the production of homogeneous samples of La3-x-yYbyTe 4. This allows the substitution of divalent Yb to be utilized to optimize the thermoelectric performance in lanthanum telluride. The addition of Yb2+ changes the electrical transport properties in a manner that can be well understood using valence counting rules and a corresponding change in the Fermi energy. The substitution of Yb2+ for La3+ results in a threefold finer control over the carrier density n, thus allowing the optimum n ∼ 0.3 × - 1021 cm-3 to be both predicted and prepared. The net result is an improvement in thermoelectric efficiency, with zT reaching ∼ 1.2 at 1273 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2995-2999
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 11 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

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