Panoscopic approach for high-performance Te-doped skutterudite

Tao Liang, Xianli Su*, Yonggao Yan, Gang Zheng, Xiaoyu She, Yonghui You, Ctirad Uher, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Xinfeng Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


One-step plasma-activated sintering (OS-PAS) fabrication of single-phase high-performance CoSb3-based skutterudite thermoelectric material with a hierarchical structure on a time scale of a few minutes is first reported here. The formation mechanism of the CoSb3 phase and the effects of the current and pressure fields on the phase transformation and microstructure evolution are studied in the one-step PAS process. The application of the panoscopic approach to this system and its effect on the transport properties are investigated. The results show that the hierarchical structure forms during the formation of the skutterudite phase under the effects of both current and sintering pressure. The samples fabricated by the OS-PAS technique have defined hierarchical structures, which scatter phonons more intensely over a broader range of frequencies and significantly reduce the lattice thermal conductivity. High-performance bulk Te-doped skutterudite with the maximum ZT of 1.1 at 820 K for the composition CoSb2.875Te0.125 was obtained. Such high ZT values rival those obtained from single filled skutterudites. This newly developed OS-PAS technique enhances the thermoelectric performance, dramatically shortens the synthesis period and provides a facile method for obtaining hierarchical thermoelectric materials on a large scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere352
JournalNPG Asia Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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