Lattice thermal conductivity of small grain size PbSnTe and PbGeTe thermoelectric material

Rowe, D. M.; Bhandari, C. M.
August 1985
Applied Physics Letters;8/1/1985, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p255
Academic Journal
The effect of phonon grain-boundary scattering on the lattice thermal, conductivity λ[sub L] of PbSnTe and PbGeTe has been investigated theoretically as a function of grain size and doping. It is concluded that for optimally doped thermoelectric material with a mean grain size of 0.5 µm, the reductions in λ[sub L] of PbSnTe and PbGeTe are 11% and 14%, respectively, compared to corresponding "single crystal" or large grain-size material. This reduction in λ[sub L], which accompanies the use of very small grain-size material, would be reflected in a significant increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit and, hence, in the conversion efficiency of generators based on lead telluride technology.


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