Three types of PbTe samples, e.g. nanoparticles, nanowires and bulk ingots, have been prepared. The investigation of the Seebeck coefficient of PbTe nanoparticles and nanowires clearly shows the sign change in the temperature range of 575~650 K, which is not observed for bulk ingots. Unfortunately, this temperature range is within the proposed operation temperature range for thermoelectric devices using PbTe and hence, such a change will affect their proper performance. The observed sign change of Seebeck coefficient is not simply caused by the composition variation at high temperature. It is mainly attributed to the extrinsic-to-intrinsic-semiconductor transition for PbTe nanocrystals due to the competing factors between quantum size effect increasing band gap and self-purification process decreasing their charge carrier concentration, which shift the transition point of nanocrystals to lower range as compare to that of bulk samples. Thus, such phenomenon should be considered carefully in the design of thermoelectric devices using semiconductor nanocrystals, which have attracted much attention recently.
Zhou, W., Sun, T., Hng, H., Zhang, W., Zhao, Y., Zhang, H., Ma, J. and Yan, Q. (2012), "Sign changes of seebeck coefficients due to extrinsic-to-intrinsic transition for PbTe nanocrystals", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 391-398. https://doi.org/10.1260/1708-52188.8.131.521Download as .RIS
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