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Title: Thermoelectric transport properties of polycrystalline SnSe alloyed with PbSe

Single-crystal SnSe has been found to exhibit exceptional thermoelectric performance, but the efficiency of polycrystalline samples is still far from satisfactory. In this paper, with an intention to effectively suppress heat conduction and minimally affect hole transport, we alloyed p-type polycrystalline SnSe with PbSe. Single-phase Sn 1-xPb xSe solid solutions were formed up to x ≈ 0.12. The lattice thermal conductivity was reduced from 1.4 to 0.85 W m -1 K -1 by 12 at. % PbSe alloying due to strain and mass fluctuations. Interestingly, the Seebeck coefficient and carrier concentration were nearly unchanged by Pb substitution, indicating a constant effective mass and an undisrupted valence band maximum. A peak figure of merit (ZT) of 0.85 at 800 K was obtained in the x = 0 sample, and relatively high performance was also achieved in solid solutions. Finally, a concise model was developed involving multiple carrier scattering mechanisms, capturing the dependence of the mobility on composition and temperature.
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  1. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Lab. of New Ceramics and Fine Processing. School of Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  3. Beihang Univ., Beijing (China). School of Materials Science and Engineering
  4. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0014520; SC0001299; 11474176; 2013CB632503
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 110; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States); Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China); Beihang Univ., Beijing (China)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); 973 Program (China)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; polycrystals; phonons; lead; solid solutions; carrier mobility; transport properties; thermoelectric effects; acoustic scattering; thermal conductivity; alloys
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1351028