Thermoelectric properties of p-type PbSe nanowires
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The thermoelectric properties of individual solution-phase synthesized p-type PbSe nanowires have been examined. The nanowires showed near degenerately doped charge carrier concentrations. Compared to the bulk, the PbSe nanowires exhibited a similar Seebeck coefficient and a significant reduction in thermal conductivity in the temperature range 20 K to 300 K. Thermal annealing of the PbSe nanowires allowed their thermoelectric properties to be controllably tuned by increasing their carrier concentration or hole mobility. After optimal annealing, single PbSe nanowires exhibited a thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of 0.12 at room temperature.