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Thermoelectric Performance Enhancement in BiSbTe Alloy by Microstructure Modulation via Cyclic Spark Plasma Sintering with Liquid Phase

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Pan,  Y.
Inorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Zhuang, H.-L., Pei, J., Cai, B., Dong, J., Hu, H., Sun, F.-H., et al. (2021). Thermoelectric Performance Enhancement in BiSbTe Alloy by Microstructure Modulation via Cyclic Spark Plasma Sintering with Liquid Phase. Advanced Functional Materials, 2009681, pp. 1-11. doi:10.1002/adfm.202009681.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-09F0-F
Abstract
The widespread application of thermoelectric (TE) technology demands high-performance materials, which has stimulated unceasing efforts devoted to the performance enhancement of Bi2Te3-based commercialized thermoelectric materials. This study highlights the importance of the synthesis process for high-performance achievement and demonstrates that the enhancement of the thermoelectric performance of (Bi,Sb)2Te3 can be achieved by applying cyclic spark plasma sintering to BixSb2–xTe3-Te above its eutectic temperature. This facile process results in a unique microstructure characterized by the growth of grains and plentiful nanostructures. The enlarged grains lead to high charge carrier mobility that boosts the power factor. The abundant dislocations originating from the plastic deformation during cyclic liquid phase sintering and the pinning effect by the Sb-rich nano-precipitates result in low lattice thermal conductivity. Therefore, a high ZT value of over 1.46 is achieved, which is 50% higher than conventionally spark-plasma-sintered (Bi,Sb)2Te3. The proposed cyclic spark plasma liquid phase sintering process for TE performance enhancement is validated by the representative (Bi,Sb)2Te3 thermoelectric alloy and is applicable for other telluride-based materials. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH