Segregation of nite2 and nbte2 in p-type thermoelectric bi0.5sb1.5te3 alloys for carrier energy filtering effect by melt spinning

Hyun Sik Kim, Taewan Kim, Jiwoo An, Dongho Kim, Ji Hoon Jeon, Sang Il Kim

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8 Scopus citations


The formation of secondary phases of NiTe2 and NbTe2 in p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 thermoelectric alloys was investigated through in situ phase separation by using the melt spinning process. Adding stoichiometric Ni, Nb, and Te in a solid-state synthesis process of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3, followed by rapid solidification by melt spinning, successfully segregated NiTe2 and NbTe2 in the Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 matrix. Since heterointerfaces of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 with NiTe2 and NbTe2 form potential barriers of 0.26 and 0.08 eV, respectively, a low energy carrier filtering effect can be expected; higher Seebeck coefficients and power factors were achieved for Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3(NiTe2)0.01 (250 μV/K and 3.15 mW/mK2), compared to those of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 (240 μV/K and 2.69 mW/mK2). However, there was no power factor increase for NbTe2 segregated samples. The decrease in thermal conductivity was seen due to the possible additional phonon scattering by the phase segregations. Consequently, zT at room temperature was enhanced to 0.98 and 0.94 for Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3(NiTe2)0.01 and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3(NbTe2)0.01, respec-tively, compared to 0.79 for Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3. The carrier filtering effect induced by NiTe2 segregations with an interface potential barrier of 0.26 eV effectively increased the Seebeck coefficient and power factor, thus improving the zT of p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3, while the interface potential barrier of 0.08 eV of NbTe2 segregation appeared to be too small to induce an effective carrier filtering effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number910
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3
  • Carrier energy filtering
  • Heterointerface
  • Phase separation
  • Secondary phase


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