Broad temperature plateau for thermoelectric figure of merit ZT>2 in phase-separated PbTe0.7S0.3

H. J. Wu, L. D. Zhao, F. S. Zheng, D. Wu, Y. L. Pei, X. Tong, Mercouri G Kanatzidis, J. Q. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Thermoelectrics interconvert heat to electricity and are of great interest in waste heat recovery, solid-state cooling and so on. The efficiency of thermoelectric materials depends directly on the average ZT (dimensionless figure of merit) over a certain temperature range, which historically has been challenging to increase. Here we report that 2.5% K-doped PbTe 0.7 S 0.3 achieves a ZT of >2 for a very wide temperature range from 673 to 923 K and has a record high average ZT of 1.56 (corresponding to a theoretical energy conversion efficiency of ∼20.7% at the temperature gradient from 300 to 900 K). The PbTe0.7S0.3 composition shows spinodal decomposition with large PbTe-rich and PbS-rich regions where each region exhibits dissimilar types of nanostructures. Such high average ZT is obtained by synergistically optimized electrical-and thermal-transport properties via carrier concentration tuning, band structure engineering and hierarchical architecturing, and highlights a realistic prospect of wide applications of thermoelectrics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4515
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 29 2014

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figure of merit
plateaus
Hot Temperature
Electron transport properties
Spinodal decomposition
Temperature
Waste heat utilization
Energy conversion
Band structure
Thermal gradients
Conversion efficiency
Carrier concentration
waste heat
Nanostructures
Electricity
thermoelectric materials
Tuning
energy conversion efficiency
electricity
Cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Wu, H. J., Zhao, L. D., Zheng, F. S., Wu, D., Pei, Y. L., Tong, X., ... He, J. Q. (2014). Broad temperature plateau for thermoelectric figure of merit ZT>2 in phase-separated PbTe0.7S0.3 Nature Communications, 5, [4515]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5515

Broad temperature plateau for thermoelectric figure of merit ZT>2 in phase-separated PbTe0.7S0.3 . / Wu, H. J.; Zhao, L. D.; Zheng, F. S.; Wu, D.; Pei, Y. L.; Tong, X.; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G; He, J. Q.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 4515, 29.07.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wu, H. J. ; Zhao, L. D. ; Zheng, F. S. ; Wu, D. ; Pei, Y. L. ; Tong, X. ; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G ; He, J. Q. / Broad temperature plateau for thermoelectric figure of merit ZT>2 in phase-separated PbTe0.7S0.3 In: Nature Communications. 2014 ; Vol. 5.
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