Extraordinary role of Hg in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type SnTe

Gangjian Tan, Fengyuan Shi, Jeff W. Doak, Hui Sun, Li Dong Zhao, Pengli Wang, Ctirad Uher, Chris Wolverton, Vinayak P. Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report several synergistic effects in Hg alloying of SnTe to enhance the power factor and overall figure of merit ZT. Hg alloying decreases the energy separation between the two valence bands, leading to pronounced band convergence that improves the Seebeck coefficient. Hg alloying of SnTe also significantly enlarges the band gap thereby effectively suppressing the bipolar diffusion. Collectively, this results in high ZT of ∼1.35 at 910 K for 2% Bi-doped SnTe with 3%HgTe. The solubility limit of Hg in SnTe is less than 3 mol%, and above this level we observe HgTe precipitates in the SnTe matrix, typically trapped at grain boundary triple junctions. The strong point defect scattering of phonons caused by Hg alloying coupled with mesoscale scattering via grain boundaries contributes to a great reduction of lattice thermal conductivity. The multiple synergistic roles that Hg plays in regulating the electron and phonon transport in SnTe provide important new insights into continued optimization of SnTe-based and related materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

grain boundary
Alloying
scattering
triple junction
thermal conductivity
defect
Grain boundaries
solubility
Scattering
electron
matrix
Seebeck coefficient
Point defects
Phonons
Valence bands
Crystal lattices
energy
Precipitates
Thermal conductivity
Energy gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Extraordinary role of Hg in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type SnTe. / Tan, Gangjian; Shi, Fengyuan; Doak, Jeff W.; Sun, Hui; Zhao, Li Dong; Wang, Pengli; Uher, Ctirad; Wolverton, Chris; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.01.2015, p. 267-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tan, G, Shi, F, Doak, JW, Sun, H, Zhao, LD, Wang, P, Uher, C, Wolverton, C, Dravid, VP & Kanatzidis, MG 2015, 'Extraordinary role of Hg in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type SnTe', Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 267-277. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4ee01463d
Tan, Gangjian ; Shi, Fengyuan ; Doak, Jeff W. ; Sun, Hui ; Zhao, Li Dong ; Wang, Pengli ; Uher, Ctirad ; Wolverton, Chris ; Dravid, Vinayak P. ; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G. / Extraordinary role of Hg in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of p-type SnTe. In: Energy and Environmental Science. 2015 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 267-277.
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