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Title: Controlling compositional homogeneity and crystalline orientation in Bi 0.8 Sb 0.2 thermoelectric thin films [Control of composition and crystallinity in Bi 0.8Sb 0.2 thermoelectric thin films].

Controlling alloy composition, crystalline quality, and crystal orientation is necessary to achieve high thermoelectric performance in Bi 1-xSb x thin films. These microstructural attributes are demonstrated in this letter via co-sputter deposition of Bi and Sb metals on Si/SiO 2 substrates followed by ex-situ post anneals ranging from 200 – 300 °C in forming gas with rapid cooling to achieve orientation along the trigonal axis. We show with cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry that 50 – 95% of the Sb segregates at the surface upon exposure to air during transfer. This then forms a nanocrystalline Sb 2O 3 layer upon annealing, leaving the bulk of the film primarily Bi metal which is a poor thermoelectric material. We demonstrate a SiN capping technique to eliminate Sb segregation and preserve a uniform composition throughout the thickness of the film. Given that the Bi 1-xSb x solid solution melting point depends on the Sb content, the SiN cap allows one to carefully approach but not exceed the melting point during annealing. This leads to the strong orientation along the trigonal axis and high crystalline quality desired for thermoelectric applications.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2166-532X; 594458
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
APL Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2166-532X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: