Enhanced thermoelectric performance driven by high-temperature phase transition in the phase change material Ge4SbTe5

Jared B. Williams, Edgar Lara-Curzio, Ercan Cakmak, Thomas Watkins, Donald T. Morelli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Phase change materials are identified for their ability to rapidly alternate between the amorphous and crystalline phases and have large contrast in the optical/electrical properties of the respective phases. The materials are not only primarily used in memory storage applications, but also recently they have been identified as potential thermoelectric materials [D. Lencer et al., Adv. Mater. 23, 2030-2058 (2011)]. Many of the phase change materials studied today can be found on the pseudo-binary (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3) x tie-line. While many compounds on this tie-line have been recognized as thermoelectric materials, here we focus on Ge4SbTe5, a single phase compound just off of the (GeTe)1-x(Sb2Te3) x tie-line, which forms in a stable rocksalt crystal structure at room temperature. We find that stoichiometric and undoped Ge4SbTe5 exhibits a thermal conductivity of ∼1.2 W/m K at high temperature and a large Seebeck coefficient of ∼250 μV/K. The resistivity decreases dramatically at 623 K due to a structural phase transition which leads to a large enhancement in both thermoelectric power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit at 823 K. In a more general sense, the work presents evidence that phase change materials can potentially provide a new route to highly efficient thermoelectric materials for power generation at high temperature.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2605-2610
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Materials Research
    Volume30
    Issue number17
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 15 2015

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    Keywords

    • phase transformation
    • semiconducting
    • thermoelectric

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Science(all)
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics

    Cite this

    Enhanced thermoelectric performance driven by high-temperature phase transition in the phase change material Ge4SbTe5. / Williams, Jared B.; Lara-Curzio, Edgar; Cakmak, Ercan; Watkins, Thomas; Morelli, Donald T.

    In: Journal of Materials Research, Vol. 30, No. 17, 15.05.2015, p. 2605-2610.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Williams, Jared B.; Lara-Curzio, Edgar; Cakmak, Ercan; Watkins, Thomas; Morelli, Donald T. / Enhanced thermoelectric performance driven by high-temperature phase transition in the phase change material Ge4SbTe5.

    In: Journal of Materials Research, Vol. 30, No. 17, 15.05.2015, p. 2605-2610.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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