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Proceedings Paper

Nanocomposites for thermoelectric power generation: rare-earth metal monoantimonide nanostructures embedded in InGaSb and InSbAs ternary alloys
Author(s): Kate J. Norris; Takehiro Onishi; Andrew J. Lohn; Nitish Padgaonkar; Vernon Wong; Elane Coleman; Gary S. Tompa; Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi
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Paper Abstract

Thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) depends on three material properties; electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Maximizing ZT simply requires that electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient be high to reduce Joule heating and to increase energy conversion efficiency while thermal conductivity needs to be low to maintain temperature gradient across a thermoelectric material. Unfortunately these three material properties are closely correlated each other in homogeneous bulk semiconductors. Recent demonstrations that employ various semiconductor materials tuned at the nanometer-scale (nanomaterials) have shown great promise in advancing thermoelectrics. Among a wide range of nanomaterials, we focus on "nanocomposites" in which semimetallic nanostructures are epitaxially embedded in a ternary compound semiconductor matrix to attempt tuning the three material properties independently. We demonstrated co-deposition of erbium monoantimonide (ErSb) and In1-xGaxSb or InSb1-yAsy ternary alloy to form nanometer-scale semimetallic ErSb structures within these ternary alloys "nanocomposite" using low-pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition. The grown nanocomposites were structurally and thermoelectrically analyzed to assess their potential for advanced thermoelectric power generation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8106, Nanoepitaxy: Materials and Devices III, 81060Q (16 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895139
Show Author Affiliations
Kate J. Norris, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Takehiro Onishi, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Andrew J. Lohn, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Nitish Padgaonkar, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Vernon Wong, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Elane Coleman, Structured Materials Industries Inc. (United States)
Gary S. Tompa, Structured Materials Industries Inc. (United States)
Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8106:
Nanoepitaxy: Materials and Devices III
Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi; A. Alec Talin; M. Saif Islam, Editor(s)

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