Effect of zno and sno2 nanolayers at grain boundaries on thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline skutterudites

Sang Il Kim, Jiwoo An, Woo Jae Lee, Se Hun Kwon, Woo Hyun Nam, Nguyen Van Du, Jong Min Oh, Sang Mo Koo, Jung Young Cho, Weon Ho Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nanostructuring is considered one of the key approaches to achieve highly efficient thermoelectric alloys by reducing thermal conductivity. In this study, we investigated the effect of oxide (ZnO and SnO2 ) nanolayers at the grain boundaries of polycrystalline In0.2 Yb0.1 Co4 Sb12 skutterudites on their electrical and thermal transport properties. Skutterudite powders with oxide nanolayers were prepared by atomic layer deposition method, and the number of deposition cycles was varied to control the coating thickness. The coated powders were consolidated by spark plasma sintering. With increasing number of deposition cycle, the electrical conductivity gradually decreased, while the Seebeck coefficient changed insignificantly; this indicates that the carrier mobility decreased due to the oxide nanolayers. In contrast, the lattice thermal conductivity increased with an increase in the number of deposition cycles, demonstrating the reduction in phonon scattering by grain boundaries owing to the oxide nanolayers. Thus, we could easily control the thermoelectric properties of skutterudite materials through adjusting the oxide nanolayer by atomic layer deposition method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2270
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Skutterudite
  • SnO
  • Thermoelectric
  • ZnO


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