Cubic AgPbmSbTe2+m: Bulk Thermoelectric Materials with High Figure of Merit

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Science  06 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5659, pp. 818-821
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092963

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The conversion of heat to electricity by thermoelectric devices may play a key role in the future for energy production and utilization. However, in order to meet that role, more efficient thermoelectric materials are needed that are suitable for high-temperature applications. We show that the material system AgPbmSbTe2+m may be suitable for this purpose. With m = 10 and 18 and doped appropriately, n-type semiconductors can be produced that exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit material ZTmax of ∼2.2 at 800 kelvin. In the temperature range 600 to 900 kelvin, the AgPbmSbTe2+m material is expected to outperform all reported bulk thermoelectrics, thereby earmarking it as a material system for potential use in efficient thermoelectric power generation from heat sources.

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