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Fabrication of nanostructured bulk Cobalt Antimonide (CoSb3) based skutterudites via bottom-up synthesis

: Saleemi, M.; Tafti, M.Y.; Toprak, M.S.; Stingaciu, M.; Johnsson, M.; Jägle, M.; Jacquot, A.; Muhammed, M.


MRS online proceedings library. Online resource 1490 (2013)
ISSN: 1946-4274
Materials Research Society (Fall Meeting) <2012, Boston/Mass.>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Konferenzbeitrag
Fraunhofer IPM ()
thermoelectric; nanostructure; powder processing

Skutterudites are known to be efficient thermoelectric (TE) materials in the temperature range from 600 K to 900 K. Dimensionless figure of merit (ZT) for filled skutterudite TE materials have been reported as ca. 1 at 800 K. Novel nano- engineering approaches and filling of the skutterudites crystal can further improve the transport properties and ultimately the ZT. Although classified among the promising TE materials, research on their large-scale production via bottom up synthetic routes is rather limited. In this work, large quantity of cobalt antimonide (CoSb3) based skutterudites nanopowder (NP) was fabricated through a room temperature co-precipitation precursor method. Dried precipitates were process by thermo-chemical treatment steps including calcination (in air) and reduction (i n hydrogen). CoSb3 NPs were then mixed with silver (Ag) nanoparticles at different weight percentages (1%, 5% and 10% by wt) to form nanocomposites. Skutterudite NP was then consolidated by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technique to produce highly dense compacts while maintaining the nanostructure. Temperature dependent TE characteristics of SPSd CoSb3 and Ag containing nanocomposite samples were evaluated for transport properties, including thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient over the temperature range of 300 - 900 K. Physicochemical, structural and microstructural evaluation results are presented in detail.