Thermoelectrics from abundant chemical elements

High-performance nanostructured PbSe-PbS

John Androulakis, Iliya Todorov, Jiaqing He, Duck Young Chung, Vinayak Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report promising thermoelectric properties of the rock salt PbSe-PbS system which consists of chemical elements with high natural abundance. Doping with PbCl2, excess Pb, and Bi gives n-type behavior without significantly perturbing the cation sublattice. Thus, despite the great extent of dissolution of PbS in PbSe, the transport properties in this system, such as carrier mobilities and power factors, are remarkably similar to those of pristine n-type PbSe in fractions as high as 16%. The unexpected finding is the presence of precipitates ∼2-5 nm in size, revealed by transmission electron microscopy, that increase in density with increasing PbS concentration, in contrast to previous reports of the occurrence of a complete solid solution in this system. We report a marked impact of the observed nanostructuring on the lattice thermal conductivity, as highlighted by contrasting the experimental values (∼1.3 W/mK) to those predicted by Klemens-Drabble theory at room temperature (∼1.6 W/mK). Our thermal conductivity results show that, unlike in PbTe, optical phonon excitations in PbSe-PbS systems contribute to heat transport at all temperatures. We show that figures of merit reaching as high as ∼1.2-1.3 at 900 K can be obtained, suggesting that large-scale applications with good conversion efficiencies are possible from systems based on abundant, inexpensive chemical elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10920-10927
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume133
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 2011

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Chemical elements
Thermal conductivity
Thermal Conductivity
Electron transport properties
Carrier mobility
Conversion efficiency
Precipitates
Solid solutions
Dissolution
Positive ions
Phonons
Rocks
Doping (additives)
Salts
Transmission electron microscopy
Temperature
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Cations
Hot Temperature
lead selenide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

Cite this

Thermoelectrics from abundant chemical elements : High-performance nanostructured PbSe-PbS. / Androulakis, John; Todorov, Iliya; He, Jiaqing; Chung, Duck Young; Dravid, Vinayak; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 133, No. 28, 20.07.2011, p. 10920-10927.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Androulakis, John ; Todorov, Iliya ; He, Jiaqing ; Chung, Duck Young ; Dravid, Vinayak ; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G. / Thermoelectrics from abundant chemical elements : High-performance nanostructured PbSe-PbS. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2011 ; Vol. 133, No. 28. pp. 10920-10927.
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