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      Thermoelectrics. Dense dislocation arrays embedded in grain boundaries for high-performance bulk thermoelectrics.

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          Abstract

          The widespread use of thermoelectric technology is constrained by a relatively low conversion efficiency of the bulk alloys, which is evaluated in terms of a dimensionless figure of merit (zT). The zT of bulk alloys can be improved by reducing lattice thermal conductivity through grain boundary and point-defect scattering, which target low- and high-frequency phonons. Dense dislocation arrays formed at low-energy grain boundaries by liquid-phase compaction in Bi(0.5)Sb(1.5)Te3 (bismuth antimony telluride) effectively scatter midfrequency phonons, leading to a substantially lower lattice thermal conductivity. Full-spectrum phonon scattering with minimal charge-carrier scattering dramatically improved the zT to 1.86 ± 0.15 at 320 kelvin (K). Further, a thermoelectric cooler confirmed the performance with a maximum temperature difference of 81 K, which is much higher than current commercial Peltier cooling devices.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          1095-9203
          0036-8075
          Apr 3 2015
          : 348
          : 6230
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Materials Research Center, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Samsung Electronics, Suwon 443-803, South Korea. sang.il.kim@samsung.com kimsungwng@skku.edu.
          [2 ] Department of Nano Applied Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, South Korea.
          [3 ] Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon 440-746, South Korea. IBS Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, South Korea.
          [4 ] Materials Research Center, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Samsung Electronics, Suwon 443-803, South Korea. Materials Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.
          [5 ] Materials Research Center, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Samsung Electronics, Suwon 443-803, South Korea.
          [6 ] Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon 440-746, South Korea. Materials Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.
          [7 ] Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon 440-746, South Korea. IBS Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, South Korea. sang.il.kim@samsung.com kimsungwng@skku.edu.
          Article
          348/6230/109
          10.1126/science.aaa4166
          25838382
          Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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