Thermoelectric performance of lanthanum telluride produced via mechanical alloying

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


Lanthanum telluride (La3-x Te4) has been synthesized via mechanical alloying and characterized for thermoelectric performance. This work confirms prior reports of lanthanum telluride as a good high-temperature thermoelectric material, with zT∼1.1 obtained at 1275 K. The thermoelectric performance is found to be better than that of SiGe, the current state-of-the-art high-temperature n -type thermoelectric material. Inherent self-doping of the system allows control over carrier concentration via sample stoichiometry. Prior high-temperature syntheses were prone to solute rejection in liquid and vapor phases, which resulted in inhomogeneous chemical composition and carrier concentration. The low-temperature synthesis provides homogeneous samples with acceptable control of the stoichiometry, and thus allows a thorough examination of the transition from a heavily doped degenerate semiconductor to a nondegenerate semiconductor. The effect of carrier concentration on the Hall mobility, Seebeck coefficient, thermal and electrical conductivity, lattice thermal conductivity, and thermoelectric compatibility are examined for 0.03≤x≤0.33.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125205
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 19 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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