Si and Na Addition to TI-doped PbTe Thermoelectric Materials

Applications

Thermoelectric materials have applications ranging from solid state cooling to conversion of heat to electricity.

Problem Addressed

Thallium doped lead telluride thermoelectric materials fabricated by ball milling and hot pressing have desirable thermoelectric properties, but they have weak mechanical strength. 

Technology

Lead tulleride (PbTe) is one of the most studied intermediate temperature thermoelectric materials, and retains the highest dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) for any bulk material. PbTe is synthesized from ball milling and hot pressing, which makes it a simple and scalable manufacturing method. Incorporating Na and Si into the material by adding them into the ball milling plus hot pressing, improves the mechanical strength and allows the material to maintain a high ZT of ~1.7 at 773K. 

Advantages

  • Improves thermoelectric properties
  • Improves mechanical strength