This paper aims at elucidating the origin of the high thermoelectric power factor of p-type (AgxSbTex/2+1.5)15(GeTe)85 (TAGS) thermoelectric materials with 0.4 x 1.2. All samples exhibit good thermoelectric figures of merit (zT) which reach 1.5 at 700 K for x = 0.6. Thermoelectric and thermomagnetic transport properties (electrical resistivity, Seebeck, Hall and transverse Nernst-Ettinghausen coefficients) are measured and used to calculate the scattering factor, the Fermi energy, the density-of-states (DOS) effective mass and hole mean free path (mfp). The DOS effective mass is very high due to the large band mass of the primary valence band and the high degeneracy of pockets in the Fermi surface from the second valence band. The highly degenerate Fermi surface increased the total DOS without decreasing mobility, which is more desirable than the high DOS that comes from a single carrier pocket. The high-temperature hole mfp approaches the Ioffe-Regel limit for band-type conduction, which validates our discussion based on band transport and is also important for TAGS alloys having high zT with heavy bands. The present results show that multiple degenerate Fermi surface pockets provide an effective way of substantially increasing the power factor of thermoelectric materials with low thermal conductivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)