In situ nanostructure generation and evolution within a bulk thermoelectric material to reduce lattice thermal conductivity

Steven N. Girard, Jiaqing He, Changpeng Li, Steven Moses, Guoyu Wang, Ctirad Uher, Vinayak P. Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)


We show experimentally the direct reduction in lattice thermal conductivity as a result of in situ nanostructure generation within a thermoelectric material. Solid solution alloys of the high-performance thermoelectric PbTe-PbS 8% can be synthesized through rapid cooling and subsequent high-temperature activation that induces a spontaneous nucleation and growth of PbS nanocrystals. The emergence of coherent PbS nanostructures reduces the lattice thermal conductivity from ∼1 to ∼0.4 W/mK between 400 and 500 K.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2825-2831
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 11 2010



  • nucleation and growth
  • semiconductors
  • thermal conductivity
  • Thermoelectric materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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