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Two-dimensional layered architecture constructing energy and phonon blocks for enhancing thermoelectric performance of InSb

通过二维层状结构搭建能量和声子势垒提高InSb热电性能

Abstract

InSb is a narrow-bandgap semiconductor with a zinc blende structure and has been wildly applied in photodetectors, infrared thermal imaging, and Hall devices. The facts of decent band structure, ultrahigh electron mobility, and nontoxic nature indicate that InSb may be a potential mid-temperature thermoelectric material. The critical challenges of InSb, such as high thermal conductivity and small Seebeck coefficient, have induced its ultrahigh lattice thermal conductivity, and thus low ZT values. In view of this, we have developed a competitive strategy typified by the cost-efficient nanocompositing of z wt% QSe2 (Q = Sn, W). Specifically, the QIn+ and SeSb+ point defects were introduced in the InSb system by nanocompositing the vested two-dimensional layered QSe2. In addition, the enlarged valence band maximum of intrinsic WSe2 acted as ladders can scatter a fair number of hole carriers, resulting in the relatively enhanced Seebeck coefficient of high temperature. Moreover, the disorderly distributed nanosheets/particles, and dislocations acting as obstacles can effectively delay the heat flow diffusion, inducing the strong scattering of thermal phonons. Consequently, an enhanced power factor of ∼33.3 µW cm−1 K−2 and ZT value of ∼0.82 at 733 K have been achieved in the 3% WSe2 sample, companied with the engineering output power density ωmax ∼233 µW cm−2 and thermoelectric conversion efficiency η ∼5.2%. This artificially designed approach indicated by suited nanocompositing can integrate several engineering strategies such as point defects, nanoengineering, and energy filtering into one, providing a reference to optimize the thermoelectric performance of other thermoelectric systems.

摘要

InSb是一种具有闪锌矿结构的窄带隙半导体, 在光电探测器、红外热成像、霍尔器件等领域有着广泛的应用. 良好的能带结构、超高的电子迁移率和无毒性质表明InSb可能是一种潜在的中温热电材料.InSb当前面临着一些关键挑战, 如高导热系数和小Seebeck系数, 导致其超高的晶格导热系数, 进而低的ZT值. 鉴于此, 我们发展了一种z wt%QSe2 (Q = Sn, W)纳米复合的高效策略, 即通过对二维层状QSe2的纳米复合, 在InSb体系中引入QIn+和SeSb+点缺陷. 此外, 本征WSe2的价带作为势垒可以散射相当数量的空穴载流子, 导致本征激发阶段的Seebeck系数升高. 此外, 无序分布的纳米片/粒子和位错可以有效地阻碍热流扩散, 形成热声子的强散射. 结果表明, 3% WSe2样品的功率因子提高到~33.3 µW cm−1K−2, 733 K时ZT值提高到~0.82, 工程输出功率密度ωmax~233 µW cm−2, 工程热电转换效率η ~5.2%.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (92163211 and 51872102), Foshan (Southern China) Institute for New Materials (2021AYF25005), Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (MOE2019-T2-2-127 and MOE-T2EP50120-0002), the A* STAR under AME IRG (A2083c0062), Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (RG90/19 and RG73/19), and Singapore National Research Foundation Competitive Research Program (NRF-CRP18-2017-02) The technical assistance from the Analytical and Testing Center of HUST and Wuhan University of Technology are likewise gratefully acknowledged.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Xin J designed this project; Xin J, Li W, Li S and Tao Y conducted the experiments; Xu T performed the EPMA analyses on the samples; Jiang Q and Luo Y participated in the discussion of the experimental results; Wei L and Yang J revised this manuscript. All authors have discussed and approved the results and conclusions of this article.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yubo Luo, Lei Wei or Junyou Yang.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary information

Experimental details and supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.

Jiwu Xin is currently a research fellow of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He received his BS degree from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Anhui University of Technology, China in 2015, and obtained his PhD degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China in 2020. His research interests focus on thermoelectric materials, and flexible and wearable functional materials.

Yubo Luo is currently a professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. He received his BS degree in materials physics in 2011 from Yan-Shan University, China, and his PhD degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, in 2016. He was a research fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2016–2019), and a visiting scholar at Northwestern University, United States (2017–2019). His current research focuses on thermoelectric semiconductors.

Lei Wei is an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He received the BE degree from Wuhan University of Technology in 2005, and the PhD degree from the Technical University of Denmark in 2011. Then he joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral associate. In 2014, he joined the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as a Nanyang assistant professor. In 2019, he was promoted to associate professor with tenure. His main research interests are fiber-based devices, multi-functional fibers, bio-fiber interfaces, and in-fiber energy generation and storage.

Junyou Yang is currently deputy dean of the Department of Materials Science, School of Materials Science and Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. He obtained his PhD degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China in 1996. He was a postdoctor at the Research Center of Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), University of Tokyo, Japan (1999–2001). He specializes in thermoelectric materials, fusion functional materials, and solar cells.

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Two-dimensional layered architecture constructing energy and phonon blocks for enhancing thermoelectric performance of InSb

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Xin, J., Li, W., Li, S. et al. Two-dimensional layered architecture constructing energy and phonon blocks for enhancing thermoelectric performance of InSb. Sci. China Mater. 65, 1353–1361 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-021-1921-3

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Keywords

  • thermoelectric
  • InSb
  • energy barrier
  • WSe2 nanosheets
  • output power density