AMPC  Vol.3 No.2 , June 2013
Structure and Thermoelectric Properties of Nanostructured (Bi, Sb)2Te3 (Review)
ABSTRACT

The investigation of the structure and thermoelectric properties of nanostructured solid solutions (Bi, Sb)2Te3 p-type has been carried out. The samples were obtained by grinding of original compositions in a planetary ball mill and by spark plasma sintering (SPS). Initial powder has an average particle size of 10 - 12 nm according to transmission electron microscopy, and the size of the coherent scattering region (CSR) obtained by X-ray line broadening. During sintering at Ts = 250°C - 400°C, the grain size and CSR increased, which was associated with the processes of recrystallization. The maximum of size distribution of CSR shifts to larger sizes when Ts increases so that no broadening of X-ray lines at Ts = 400°C can take place. At higher Ts, the emergence of new nanograins is observed. The formation of nanograins is conditioned by reducing of quantity of the intrinsic point defects produced in the grinding of the source materials. The study of the electrical conductivity and the Hall effect in a single crystal allows to estimate the mean free path of the holes-L in the single crystal Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 which at room temperature is 2 - 5 nm (it is much smaller than the dimensions of CSR in the samples). The method for evaluation of L in polycrystalline samples is proposed. At room temperature, L is close to the mean free path in single crystals. Scattering parameter holes in SPS samples obtained from the temperature dependence of the Seebeck coefficient are within the measurement error equal to the parameter of the scattering of holes in a single crystal. The figure of merit ZT of SPS samples as a function of composition and sintering temperature has been investigated. Maximum ZT, equal to 1.05 at room temperature, is obtained for the composition Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 at Ts = 500°C and a pressure of 50 MPa. The causes of an apparent increase in thermoelectric efficiency are discussed.


Cite this paper
I. Drabkin, V. Karataev, V. Osvenski, A. Sorokin, G. Pivovarov and N. Tabachkova, "Structure and Thermoelectric Properties of Nanostructured (Bi, Sb)2Te3 (Review)," Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 119-132. doi: 10.4236/ampc.2013.32018.
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