The panoscopic approach to high performance thermoelectrics

Li Dong Zhao, Vinayak P. Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

511 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review discusses recent developments and current research in high performance bulk thermoelectric materials, comprising nanostructuring, mesostructuring, band alignment, band engineering and synergistically defining key strategies for boosting the thermoelectric performance. To date, the dramatic enhancements in the figure of merit achieved in bulk thermoelectric materials have come either from the reduction in lattice thermal conductivity or improvement in power factors, or both of them. Here, we summarize these relationships between very large reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity with all-scale hierarchical architecturing, large enhanced Seebeck coefficients with intra-matrix electronic structure engineering, and control of the carrier mobility with matrix/inclusion band alignment, which enhance the power factor and reduce the lattice thermal conductivity. The new concept of hierarchical compositionally alloyed nanostructures to achieve these effects is presented. Systems based on PbTe, PbSe and PbS in which spectacular advances have been demonstrated are given particular emphasis. A discussion of future possible strategies is aimed at enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit of these materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-268
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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thermal conductivity
Thermal conductivity
engineering
matrix
Seebeck coefficient
Carrier mobility
Electronic structure
Nanostructures
material
alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

The panoscopic approach to high performance thermoelectrics. / Zhao, Li Dong; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2014, p. 251-268.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhao, Li Dong ; Dravid, Vinayak P. ; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G. / The panoscopic approach to high performance thermoelectrics. In: Energy and Environmental Science. 2014 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 251-268.
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