Phonon scattering by dislocations at grain boundaries in polycrystalline Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3

Hyun Sik Kim, Sang Il Kim, Kyu Hyoung Lee, Sung Wng Kim, G. Jeffrey Snyder

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47 Scopus citations


Reducing lattice thermal conductivity (κl) of a thermoelectric material is one of the most popular strategies to improve its thermoelectric performance. Particularly, many efforts have been focused on decreasing grain size to effectively scatter low-frequency phonons by boundary scattering. In addition to the boundary scattering, we have recently demonstrated that dense arrays of dislocations formed in grain boundaries can further reduce the κl by dislocation scattering at room temperature and above. In order to closely examine the effect of the dislocation scattering, the κl of polycrystalline Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 samples with and without dislocations were measured at low temperature (T < 200 K). Because other phonon scattering mechanisms like Umklapp and point-defect scatterings are not dominant at low temperature, we clearly show the presence of the dislocation scattering in the sample with the dislocations by successfully describing its low temperature experimental κl with a theoretical model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600103
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (B): Basic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Casimir model
  • bismuth antimony telluride
  • dislocation scattering
  • grain boundary scattering
  • polycrystalline materials


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