Understanding nanostructures in thermoelectric materials: An electron microscopy study of AgPb18SbSe20 crystals

Christos B. Lioutas, Nikolaos Frangis*, Iliya Todorov, Duck Young Chung, Mercouri Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The characterization and understanding of the presence of nanostructuring in bulk thermoelectric materials requires real space atomic level information. We report electron diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies of crystals of the system AgPb18SbSe20 (=18PbSe + AgSbSe2) which reveal that this system is nanostructured rather than a solid solution. Nanocrystals of varying sizes are found, endotaxially grown in the matrix of PbSe (phase A), and consist of two phases, a cubic one (phase B) and a tetragonal one (phase C). Well-defined coherent interfaces between the phases in the same nanocrystals are observed. On the basis of the results of combined electron crystallography techniques, we propose reasonable structural models for the phases B and C. There are significant differences in the nanostructuring chemistry between AgPb18SbSe 20 and the telluride analog AgPb18SbTe20 (LAST-18).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5630-5635
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 12 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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