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Energies 2015, 8(11), 12573-12583; doi:10.3390/en81112323

Thermoelectric Properties of Alumina-Doped Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 Nanocomposites Prepared through Mechanical Alloying and Vacuum Hot Pressing

1
School of Dental Technology, College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
2
School of Oral Hygiene, College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
3
Department of Dentistry, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
4
Institute of Materials Engineering, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shi Xue Dou
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 17 October 2015 / Accepted: 23 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4481 KB, uploaded 6 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

In this study, γ-Al2O3 particles were dispersed in p-type Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 through mechanical alloying to form γ-Al2O3/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 composite powders. The composite powders were consolidated using vacuum hot pressing to produce nano- and microstructured composites. Thermoelectric (TE) measurements indicated that adding an optimal amount of γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles improves the TE performance of the fabricated composites. High TE performances with figure of merit (ZT) values as high as 1.22 and 1.21 were achieved at 373 and 398 K for samples containing 1 and 3 wt % γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles, respectively. These ZT values are higher than those of monolithic Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 samples. The ZT values of the fabricated samples at 298–423 K are 1.0–1.22; these ZT characteristics make γ-Al2O3/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 composites suitable for power generation applications because no other material with a similarly high ZT value has been reported at this temperature range. The achieved high ZT value may be attributable to the unique nano- and microstructures in which γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles are dispersed among the grain boundary or in the matrix grain, as revealed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The dispersed γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles thus increase phonon scattering sites and reduce thermal conductivity. The results indicated that the nano- and microstructured γ-Al2O3/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 alloy can serve as a high-performance material for application in TE devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: γ-Al2O3/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3; thermoelectric material; mechanical alloying; nano/microstructure; vacuum hot pressing γ-Al2O3/Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3; thermoelectric material; mechanical alloying; nano/microstructure; vacuum hot pressing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, C.-K.; Chen, M.-S.; Huang, R.-T.; Cheng, Y.-C.; Lee, P.-Y. Thermoelectric Properties of Alumina-Doped Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 Nanocomposites Prepared through Mechanical Alloying and Vacuum Hot Pressing. Energies 2015, 8, 12573-12583.

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