Bhuvanesh Srinivasan 1 , Catherine Boussard-Pledel 1 , Vincent Dorcet 2 , Manisha Samanta 3 , Kanishka Biswas 3 , Robin Lefèvre 4 , Franck Gascoin 4 , François Cheviré 1 , Sylvain Tricot 5 , Michael Reece 6 , Bruno Bureau 1 , *
23 March 2017
Chalcogenide semiconducting systems are of growing interest for mid-temperature range (~500 K) thermoelectric applications. In this work, Ge 20Te 77Se 3 glasses were intentionally crystallized by doping with Cu and Bi. These effectively-crystallized materials of composition (Ge 20Te 77Se 3) 100− x M x (M = Cu or Bi; x = 5, 10, 15), obtained by vacuum-melting and quenching techniques, were found to have multiple crystalline phases and exhibit increased electrical conductivity due to excess hole concentration. These materials also have ultra-low thermal conductivity, especially the heavily-doped (Ge 20Te 77Se 3) 100− x Bi x ( x = 10, 15) samples, which possess lattice thermal conductivity of ~0.7 Wm −1 K −1 at 525 K due to the assumable formation of nano-precipitates rich in Bi, which are effective phonon scatterers. Owing to their high metallic behavior, Cu-doped samples did not manifest as low thermal conductivity as Bi-doped samples. The exceptionally low thermal conductivity of the Bi-doped materials did not, alone, significantly enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT. The attempt to improve the thermoelectric properties by crystallizing the chalcogenide glass compositions by excess doping did not yield power factors comparable with the state of the art thermoelectric materials, as these highly electrically conductive crystallized materials could not retain the characteristic high Seebeck coefficient values of semiconducting telluride glasses.