Improved thermoelectric properties of nanostructured composites out of Bi1-xSbx nanoparticles and carbon phases
Thermoelectric figures of merit of ZT ≈ 0.4 at room temperature were achieved in nanostructured composite materials prepared by uniaxial pressing of Bi1-xSbx nanoparticles and 0.3 wt.% of a carbon phase. This constitutes a significant improvement of the low-temperature thermoelectric material Bi1-xSbx and strongly suggests the possibility of ... employing these materials in efficient thermoelectric devices working at room temperature. Interestingly, the beneficial effect of the carbon phase added to nanostructured Bi1-xSbx is the same for either carbon nanotubes or active carbon. This finding is attributed, on the one hand, to a combination of electronic band gap engineering due to nanostructuring and energy filtering due to graphene-like interlayers between Bi1-xSbx grains and, on the other hand, to modified phonon scattering at the grain boundaries and additional phonon scattering by agglomeration sites of carbon material on the micro m scale.