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PbTe based superlattice structures with high thermoelectric efficiency

: Beyer, H.; Nurnus, J.; Böttner, H.; Lambrecht, A.; Roch, T.; Bauer, G.


Applied Physics Letters 80 (2002), Nr.7, S.1216-1218
ISSN: 0003-6951
ISSN: 1077-3118
Fraunhofer IPM ()

We report on an enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=sigmaS(2)T/lambda (where sigma is electrical conductivity, S is thermopower, T is absolute temperature, and lambda is thermal conductivity) for PbTe/PbSe0.20Te0.80 superlattices (SLs) and PbTe doping SLs due to a reduction of the thermal conductivity lambda parallel to the layer planes. Despite a small decrease of the power factors sigmaS(2) due to a reduction of sigma in these superlattices, the figure of merit is higher as compared to the corresponding bulk materials and reaches maximum values in the temperature range between 400 and 570 K.