Increasing the thermoelectric figure of merit of tetrahedrites by Co-doping with nickel and zinc

Xu Lu, Donald T. Morelli, Yi Xia, Vidvuds Ozolins

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    • 56 Citations

    Abstract

    We report a more than 30% increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit of Ni-doped tetrahedrite (Cu12Sb4S13) by the addition of Zn. We show that this enhancement is due to the combination of two effects: (1) a tuning of the Fermi energy to optimize the Seebeck coefficient and thermoelectric power factor and (2) a reduction in thermal conductivity due to decreases in both the electronic and lattice thermal conductivities. Unlike tetrahedrites doped solely with Zn, which can become electrically insulating at high Zn concentrations, Ni doped samples remain conducting due to the existence of an additional valence band from spin-split Ni states. By adding Zn to these Ni-doped materials, electrons can fill the holes in the valence band, allowing for tuning of the thermoelectric properties. Tetrahedrites optimally doped with both Ni and Zn have thermal conductivity approaching theoretical minimum values, which helps boost the thermoelectric figure of merit zT in these compounds above unity.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages408-413
    Number of pages6
    JournalChemistry of Materials
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 27 2015

    Profile

    Nickel
    Zinc
    Thermal conductivity
    Doping (additives)
    Valence bands
    Tuning
    Seebeck coefficient
    Thermoelectric power
    Fermi level
    Electrons

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Chemistry
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Chemistry(all)

    Cite this

    Increasing the thermoelectric figure of merit of tetrahedrites by Co-doping with nickel and zinc. / Lu, Xu; Morelli, Donald T.; Xia, Yi; Ozolins, Vidvuds.

    In: Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 27, No. 2, 27.01.2015, p. 408-413.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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