Improved thermoelectric properties of n-type Bi2Te3 alloy deriving from two-phased heterostructure by the reduction of CuI with Sn

  • Mi-Kyung Han
  • Junphil Hwang
  • Sung-Jin KimEmail author


In this report, CuI and Sn co-doped n-type Bi2Te3 samples have been prepared by a high-temperature solid-state reaction, and the effect of co-doping on the thermoelectric properties was investigated from room temperature to 525 K. Sn single-doped and undoped Bi2Te3 were prepared for comparison. Detailed charge transport data including electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, Hall coefficient, and thermal conductivity are presented. Microscopic observation of CuI/Sn co-doped samples revealed that numerous distinctive microstructures such as nanoprecipitates of the Cu and SnI-rich phase were generated in the matrix. The lattice thermal conductivity of CuI/Sn co-doped Bi2Te3 was substantially reduced compared to those of undoped and single doped Bi2Te3. Benefiting from the improved electrical transport properties by doping and the reduced lattice thermal conductivity by numerous microstructures, the ZT value of the Bi2Te3 doped with 1 at.% CuI/Sn is distinctly enhanced to 1.24 at 425 K. The average ZT value (ZTave ~ 1.02) at 300–525 K was clearly higher than those of Sn-doped Bi2Te3 (ZTave ~ 0.54) and CuI-doped Bi2Te3 (ZTave ~ 0.98). This work indicates that the average ZT can be improved over a broad temperature range using a co-doping approach.



This research was supported by Nano Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2011-0030147). M.K.H. was supported by RP-Grant 2016 of Ewha Womans University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts to declare.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Nano ScienceEwha Womans UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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