Author(s) Cojocaru-Miredin, O.; Abdellaoui, L.; Nagli, M.; Zhang, S.; Yu, Y.; Scheu, C.; Raabe, D.; Wuttig, M.; Amouyal, Y.
Journal ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
Date Published 2017 May 03

Thermoelectric (TE) materials are of utmost significance for conversion of heat flux into electrical power in the low-power regime. Their conversion efficiency depends strongly on the microstructure. AgSbTe2-based compounds are high-efficiency TE materials suitable for the mid-temperature range. Herein, we explore an Ag16.7Sb30Te53.3 alloy (at %) subjected to heat treatments at 380 °C for different durations aimed at nucleation and coarsening of Sb2Te3-precipitates. To characterize the Sb2Te3-precipitation, we use a set of methods combining thermal and electrical measurements in concert with transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. We find correlations between the measured TE transport coefficients and the applied heat treatments. Specifically, the lowest electrical and thermal conductivity values are obtained for the as-quenched state, whereas the highest values are observed for alloys aged for 8 h. In turn, long-term heat treatments result in intermediate values of transport coefficients. We explain these findings in terms of interplay between precipitate formation and variations in the matrix composition, highlighting the importance of thermal stability of the material under service conditions.

DOI 10.1021/acsami.7b00689
ISSN 1944-8252
Citation ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017;9(17):1477914790.

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