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Thermoelectric properties of p
Te bulk composites by extrinsic phase mixing
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We investigated the thermoelectricproperties of PbTe/Ag2Te bulk composites, synthesized by hand milling, mixing, and hot press sintering. From x-ray diffraction and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy measurements, we observed Ag2Te phase separation in the PbTe matrix without Ag atom diffusion. In comparison with previously reported pseudo-binary (PbTe)1−x(Ag2Te)x composites, synthesized by high temperature phase separation, the PbTe/Ag2Te bulk composites fabricated with a low temperature phase mixing process give rise to p-type conduction of carriers with significantly decreased electrical conductivity. This indicates that Ag atom diffusion in the PbTe matrix changes the sign of the Seebeck coefficient to n-type and also increases the carrier concentration. Effective p-type doping with low temperature phase separation by mixing and hot press sintering can enhance the thermoelectric performance of PbTe/Ag2Te bulk composites, which can be used as a p-type counterpart of n-type (PbTe)1−x(Ag2Te)x bulk composites.
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