Enhanced thermoelectric properties and development of nanotwins in Na-doped Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 alloy

Research paper by Hyun Kim, Jae Ki Lee, Su-Dong Park, Byungki Ryu, Ji Eun Lee, Bong-Seo Kim, Bok-Ki Min, Sung-Jae Joo, Hee-Woong Lee, Young-Rae Cho

Indexed on: 10 Mar '16Published on: 10 Mar '16Published in: Electronic Materials Letters


We found that Na is a good source to develop twin structures in the Bi-Te system, such as Ag as noted in a previous study. The twin boundaries had a considerable influence on reductions of the lattice thermal conductivity due to phonon scattering by the nano-ordered layers and on reductions of the electrical resistivity owing to the defects generated by the substitution of Na into the cation sites. Here, we report the enhanced thermoelectric properties of a Na-doped p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 alloy. Measurements show that the electrical resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient decrease with Na doping due to an increase in the free carrier (hole) concentration and that the lattice thermal conductivity decreases with Na doping. The achieved maximum ZT value was 1.20 at 423 K, which is approximately 20% higher than that of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 under the same fabrication conditions. These results were achievable by controlling the morphology of the twin structure and the carrier concentration by means of Na doping.