Enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit in nanostructured n-type silicon germanium bulk alloy

Wang, X. W.; Lee, H.; Lan, Y. C.; Zhu, G. H.; Joshi, G.; Wang, D. Z.; Yang, J.; Muto, A. J.; Tang, M. Y.; Klatsky, J.; Song, S.; Dresselhaus, M. S.; Chen, G.; Ren, Z. F.
November 2008
Applied Physics Letters;11/10/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 19, p193121
Academic Journal
The dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of the n-type silicon germanium (SiGe) bulk alloy at high temperature has remained at about one for a few decades. Here we report that by using a nanostructure approach, a peak ZT of about 1.3 at 900 °C in an n-type nanostructured SiGe bulk alloy has been achieved. The enhancement of ZT comes mainly from a significant reduction in the thermal conductivity caused by the enhanced phonon scattering off the increased density of nanograin boundaries. The enhanced ZT will make such materials attractive in many applications such as solar, thermal, and waste heat conversion into electricity.


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