Indexed on: 27 Oct '17Published on: 27 Oct '17Published in: Materials
In order to understand the effect of Pb-CuI co-doping on the thermoelectric performance of Bi₂Te₃, n-type Bi₂Te₃ co-doped with x at % CuI and 1/2x at % Pb (x = 0, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05, 0.07, and 0.10) were prepared via high temperature solid state reaction and consolidated using spark plasma sintering. Electron and thermal transport properties, i.e., electrical conductivity, carrier concentration, Hall mobility, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity, of CuI-Pb co-doped Bi₂Te₃ were measured in the temperature range from 300 K to 523 K, and compared to corresponding x% of CuI-doped Bi₂Te₃ and undoped Bi₂Te₃. The addition of a small amount of Pb significantly decreased the carrier concentration, which could be attributed to the holes from Pb atoms, thus the CuI-Pb co-doped samples show a lower electrical conductivity and a higher Seebeck coefficient when compared to CuI-doped samples with similar x values. The incorporation of Pb into CuI-doped Bi₂Te₃ rarely changed the power factor because of the trade-off relationship between the electrical conductivity and the Seebeck coefficient. The total thermal conductivity(κtot) of co-doped samples (κtot ~ 1.4 W/m∙K at 300 K) is slightly lower than that of 1% CuI-doped Bi₂Te₃ (κtot ~ 1.5 W/m∙K at 300 K) and undoped Bi₂Te₃ (κtot ~ 1.6 W/m∙K at 300 K) due to the alloy scattering. The 1% CuI-Pb co-doped Bi₂Te3 sample shows the highest ZT value of 0.96 at 370 K. All data on electrical and thermal transport properties suggest that the thermoelectric properties of Bi₂Te3 and its operating temperature can be controlled by co-doping.