Synthesis and characterization of p-Type Pb < inf> 0.5 Sn < inf> 0.5 Te thermoelectric power generation elements by mechanical alloying

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A mechanical alloying (MA) process to transform elemental powders into solid Pb 0.5Sn 0.5Te with thermoelectric functionality comparable to melt-alloyed material is described. The room-temperature doping level and mobility as well as temperature-dependent electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity are reported. Estimated values of lattice thermal conductivity (0.7 W m -1 K -1) are lower than some reports of functional melt-alloyed PbSnTe-based material, providing evidence that MA can engender the combination of properties resulting in highly functional thermoelectric material. Though doping level and Sn composition have not been optimized, this material exhibits a ZT value > 0.5 at 550 K. © 2009 TMS.

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Journal of Electronic Materials