High-Pressure Torsion to Improve Thermoelectric Efficiency of Clathrates?
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High-pressure torsion (HPT), as a technique to produce severe plastic deformation, has been proven effective to improve the thermoelectric performance of skutterudites. In this report, we present microstructural and thermoelectric properties of the clathrate Ba8Cu3.5Ge41In1.5 processed by HPT. The sample was synthesized from high-purity elements, subsequently annealed, ball milled, and hot pressed, and finally subject to HPT. Compared with the ball-milled and hot-pressed sample, the HPT-processed sample has higher electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient, and lower thermal conductivity, electron concentration, and mobility, which is attributed to the reduced grain size and increased density of dislocations, point defects, and cracks. No essential improvement of the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit is observed in the investigated temperature range, questioning the universal versatility of this technique for improvement of thermoelectric materials.
KeywordsThermoelectric materials clathrates high-pressure torsion thermoelectric and transport measurements
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