Nanostructured thermoelectric materials
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High values of thermoelectric figures of merit ZT, ranging from ZT=1.6 at 300 K to ZT=3 at 550 K, are reported for Bi-doped n-type PbSeTe/PbTe quantum-dot superlattice (QDSL) samples grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). These ZT values were determined by directly measuring Seebeck coefficients and electrical conductivities and using the low lattice thermal conductivity value (∼3.3 mW/cm-K) determined experimentally from measurements of a one-legged thermoelectric cooler. Initial experiments have also shown that high values of ZT (∼1.1 at 300 K) are achievable for complementary Na-doped p-type PbSeTe/PbTe QDSL samples, in which the conduction and valence bands mirror those in the Bi-doped Pb chalcogenides.