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Thermoelectric quantum-dot superlattices with high ZT


Following the experimentally observed Seebeck coefficient enhancement in PbTe quantum wells in Pb1−xEuxTe/PbTe multiple-quantum-well structures which indicated the potential usefulness of low dimensionality, we have investigated the thermoelectric properties of PbSexTe1−x/PbTe quantum-dot superlattices for possible improved thermoelectric materials. We have again found enhancements in Seebeck coefficient and thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) relative to bulk values, which occur through the various physics and materials science phenomena associated with the quantum-dot structures. To date, we have obtained estimated ZT values approximately double the best bulk PbTe values, with estimated ZT as high as about 0.9 at 300 K.

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Harman, T.C., Taylor, P.J., Spears, D.L. et al. Thermoelectric quantum-dot superlattices with high ZT. Journal of Elec Materi 29, L1–L2 (2000).

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Key words

  • PbSeTe/PbTe
  • quantum-dots
  • thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT)