Open Access Research Article Issue
In-situ growth of carbon nanotubes on ZnO to enhance thermoelectric and mechanical properties
Journal of Advanced Ceramics 2022, 11 (12): 1932-1943
Published: 29 November 2022
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As a high-temperature thermoelectric (TE) material, ZnO offers advantages of non-toxicity, chemical stability, and oxidation resistance, and shows considerable promise as a true ready-to-use module under air conditions. However, poor electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity severely hinder its application. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are often used as a reinforcing phase in composites, but it is difficult to achieve uniform dispersion of CNTs due to van der Waals forces. Herein, we developed an effective in-situ growth strategy of homogeneous CNTs on ZnO nanoparticles by exploiting the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology, in order to improve their electrical conductivity and mechanical properties, as well as reducing the thermal conductivity. Meanwhile, magnetic nickel (Ni) nanoparticles are introduced as catalysts for promoting the formation of CNTs, which can also enhance the electrical and thermal transportation of ZnO matrices. Notably, the electrical conductivity of ZnO is significantly boosted from 26 to 79 S·cm−1 due to the formation of dense and uniform conductive CNT networks. The lattice thermal conductivity ( κL) is obviously declined by the intensification of phonon scattering, resulting from the abundant grain boundaries and interfaces in ZnO–CNT composites. Importantly, the maximum dimensionless figure of merit (zT) of 0.04 at 800 K is obtained in 2.0% Ni–CNTs/ZnO, which is three times larger than that of CNTs/ZnO prepared by traditional ultrasonic method. In addition, the mechanical properties of composites including Vickers hardness (HV) and fracture toughness (KIC) are also reinforced. This work provides a valuable reference for dispersing nano-phases in TE materials to enhance both TE and mechanical properties.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Enhanced thermoelectric properties of hydrothermally synthesized n-type Se&Lu-codoped Bi2Te3
Journal of Advanced Ceramics 2020, 9 (4): 424-431
Published: 15 May 2020
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N-type Se&Lu-codoped Bi2Te3 nanopowders were prepared by hydrothermal method and sintered by spark plasma sintering technology to form dense samples. By further doping Se element into Lu-doped Bi2Te3 samples, the thickness of the nanosheets has the tendency to become thinner. The electrical conductivity of Lu0.1Bi1.9Te3-xSex material is reduced with the increasing Se content due to the reduced carrier concentration, while the Seeback coefficient values are enhanced. The lattice thermal conductivity of the Lu0.1Bi1.9Te3-xSex is greatly reduced due to the introduced point defects and atomic mass fluctuation. Finally, the Lu0.1Bi1.9Te2.7Se0.3 sample obtained a maximum ZT value of 0.85 at 420 K. This study provides a low-cost and simple low-temperature method to mass production of Se&Lu-codoped Bi2Te3 with high thermoelectric performance for practical applications.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Microstructure and composition engineering Yb single-filled CoSb3 for high thermoelectric and mechanical performances
Journal of Materiomics 2019, 5 (4): 702-710
Published: 27 April 2019
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A broad tunability of the thermoelectric and mechanical properties of CoSb3 has been demonstrated by adjusting the composition with the addition of an increasing number of elements. However, such a strategy may negatively impact processing repeatability and composition control. In this work, single-element-filled skutterudite is engineered to have high thermoelectric and mechanical performances. Increased Yb filling fraction is found to increase phonon scattering, whereas cryogenic grinding contributes additional microstructural scattering. A peak zT of 1.55 and an average zT of about 1.09, which is comparable to the reported results of multiple-filled SKDs, are realized by the combination of simple composition and microstructure engineering. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of Yb single-filled CoSb3 skutterudite are improved by manipulation of the microstructure through cryogenic grinding. These findings highlight the realistic prospect of producing high-performance thermoelectric materials with reduced compositional complexity.

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