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Thermoelectric properties of Cu-dispersed bi0.5sb1.5te3

Il-Ho Kim1*, Soon-Mok Choi2, Won-Seon Seo2 and Dong-Ik Cheong3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chungju National University, Chungju, Chungbuk 380-702, South Korea

2 Energy Materials Lab., Green Ceramic Division, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, Seoul 153-801, South Korea

3 The 4th R&D Institute-4, Agency for Defense Development, Daejeon 305-600, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:2  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-2

Published: 5 January 2012


A novel and simple approach was used to disperse Cu nanoparticles uniformly in the Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 matrix, and the thermoelectric properties were evaluated for the Cu-dispersed Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3. Polycrystalline Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 powder prepared by encapsulated melting and grinding was dry-mixed with Cu(OAc)2 powder. After Cu(OAc)2 decomposition, the Cu-dispersed Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 was hot-pressed. Cu nanoparticles were well-dispersed in the Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 matrix and acted as effective phonon scattering centers. The electrical conductivity increased systematically with increasing level of Cu nanoparticle dispersion. All specimens had a positive Seebeck coefficient, which confirmed that the electrical charge was transported mainly by holes. The thermoelectric figure of merit was enhanced remarkably over a wide temperature range of 323-523 K.

PACS: 72.15.Jf: 72.20.Pa

chalcogenides; electronic materials; composites; electrical properties; thermal conductivity