Effect of Porosity on the Thermoelectric Efficiency of PbTe

LP Bulat and DA Pshenay-Severin and VB Osvenskii, PHYSICS OF THE SOLID STATE, 58, 1532-1538 (2016).

DOI: 10.1134/S1063783416080084

The effect of electron and phonon scattering on nanometer-sized pores on the thermoelectric properties of lead telluride has been studied theoretically. Estimations show that the thermoelectric efficiency can increase by 20-25% at room temperature and by 5-10% at 600 K at the optimal pore size of several nanometers and the porosity of similar to 10%. An analysis shows that the increase in the thermoelectric efficiency due to additional scattering in the porous material is related to the decrease in the thermal conductivity of the lattice and the increase in the thermoelectric coefficient due to the change in the energy dependence of the relaxation time. To estimate the multiple scattering at high pore concentration, the lattice thermal conductivity by the molecular-dynamics method and the electron free paths in a coherent potential approximation were calculated. It is shown that the inclusion of the multiple scattering slightly influences the thermoelectric properties at noted sizes and pore concentrations.

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