, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 1121-1127

High thermoelectric figures of merit in PbTe quantum wells

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High-quality Pb1−xEuxTe/PbTe multiple quantum wells (MQWs) have been grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The measured 300K thermoelectric properties have been compared with that of the best bulk PbTe. This experimental investigation is the first detailed study of MQW structures designed to improve ZT of thermoelectric materials and has resulted in a breakthrough in the decades-long ZT ≅ 1 barrier for a room-temperature thermoelectric material. A value of Z2DT >1.2 has been achieved for these PbTe quantum wells.