Journal of Electroceramics

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 225–234 | Cite as

Influence of the calcination procedure on the thermoelectric properties of calcium cobaltite Ca3Co4O9

  • Sophie BreschEmail author
  • Björn Mieller
  • Christian Selleng
  • Thomas Stöcker
  • Ralf Moos
  • Torsten Rabe


Calcium cobaltite is one of the most promising oxide p-type thermoelectric materials. The solid-state reaction (or calcination, respectively), which is well known for large-scale powder synthesis of functional materials, can also be used for the synthesis of thermoelectric oxides. There are various calcination routines in literature for Ca3Co4O9 powder synthesis, but no systematic study has been done on the influence of calcination procedure on thermoelectric properties. Therefore, the influence of calcination conditions on the Seebeck coefficient and the electrical conductivity was studied by modifying calcination temperature, dwell time, particle size of raw materials and number of calcination cycles. This study shows that elevated temperatures, longer dwell times, or repeated calcinations during powder synthesis do not improve but deteriorate the thermoelectric properties of calcium cobaltite. Diffusion during calcination leads to idiomorphic grain growth, which lowers the driving force for sintering of the calcined powder. A lower driving force for sintering reduces the densification. The electrical conductivity increases linearly with densification. The calcination procedure barely influences the Seebeck coefficient. The calcination procedure has no influence on the phase formation of the sintered specimens.


Thermoelectric oxides Calcination Solid-state-synthesis Power factor 



The authors are very grateful to the BAM colleagues S. Benemann for the SEM micrographs, F. Emmerling for XRD-analyses, T. Marcus for the electrical conductivity setup, F. Lindemann for analyzing the particle size distribution and W. Guether for the helpful advices.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division Advanced Technical CeramicsBundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Division Building MaterialsBundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM)BerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Functional MaterialsUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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