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Reduced early transition metal oxides/metal composites have been identified here as interesting thermoelectric materials. Numerous compositions in the Nb-rich portion of the WO–NbO system have been studied, in composite formulations with elemental W. Spark plasma sintering (SPS) has been employed to achieve rapid preparation and consolidation of composite materials containing W metal precipitates with characteristic length scales that range from under 20 nm to a few microns, that exhibit thermal conductivities that are constant from 300 K to 1000 K, approximately 2.5 W m−1 K−1. Thermoelectric properties of these n-type materials were measured, and the highest-performing compositions were found to reach figure of merit values close to 0.1 at 950 K. The measurements point to higher values at yet-higher temperatures.


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