Thermoelectric properties of pulsed current sintered nanocrystalline Al-doped ZnO by chemical vapour synthesis

Gautam, Devendraprakash LSF; Engenhorst, Markus; Schilling, Carolin LSF; Schierning, Gabi; Schmechel, Roland LSF; Winterer, Markus LSF

ZnO is a promising n-type oxide thermoelectric material, which is stable in air at elevated temperatures. In the present study, we report the bottom-up approach to create Al-doped ZnO nanocomposites from nanopowders, which are prepared by chemical vapour synthesis. With our synthesis route, we are able to create highly doped Al-containing ZnO nanocomposites that exhibit bulk-like electrical conductivity. Moreover, the impact of the microstructure of the nanocomposites on their thermal conductivity is enormous, with a value of 1.0 W m^(−1) K^(−1) for 1% Al–ZnO at room temperature, which is one of the lowest values reported, to date, on ZnO nanocomposites. The optimization of the Al-doping and microstructure with respect to the transport properties of bulk Al–ZnO nanocomposites leads to a zT value of about 0.24 at 950 K, underlining the potential of our technique.

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Gautam, D., Engenhorst, M., Schilling, C., Schierning, G., Schmechel, R., Winterer, M., 2016. Thermoelectric properties of pulsed current sintered nanocrystalline Al-doped ZnO by chemical vapour synthesis. https://doi.org/10.1039/C4TA04355C
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