Self-tuning the carrier concentration of PbTe/Ag 2Te composites with excess Ag for high Thermoelectric performance

Yanzhong Pei*, Andrew F. May, G. Jeffrey Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermoelectric materials can be optimized by tuning the carrier concentration with chemical doping. However, because the optimum dopant concentration typically increases with temperature, the optimum efficiency can not normally be achieved for a uniform material in a temperature gradient. Here, we show Ag-doped PbTe/Ag 2Te composites exhibit high thermoelectric performance (∼ 50% greater than La-doped composites) because of a temperature induced gradient in the doping concentration caused by the temperature-dependent solubility of Ag in the PbTe matrix. This demonstrates a new mechanism to achieve a higher thermoelectric efficiency afforded by a given material system, and should be applicable to other thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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