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Electronic and thermal transport in GeTe: A versatile base for thermoelectric materials

TitleElectronic and thermal transport in GeTe: A versatile base for thermoelectric materials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLevin, EM, Besser, M, Hanus, R
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Date Published08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-8979
Accession NumberWOS:000323911100055
Keywordscrystals, design, enhancement, germanium, nanostructures, pbte, performance bulk thermoelectrics, phase-change materials, scattering, telluride, thermopower

GeTe is a narrow-band gap semiconductor, where Ge vacancies generate free charge carriers, holes, forming a self-dopant degenerate system with p-type conductivity, and serves as a base for high-performance multicomponent thermoelectric materials. There is a significant discrepancy between the electronic and thermal transport data for GeTe-based materials reported in the literature, which obscures the baseline knowledge and prevents a clear understanding of the effect of alloying GeTe with various elements. A comprehensive study including XRD, SEM, EDS, Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, and Te-125 NMR of several GeTe samples was conducted. Similar Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity are observed for all GeTe samples used showing that the concentration of Ge vacancies generating charge carriers is constant along the ingot. Very short Te-125 NMR spin-relaxation time agrees well with high carrier concentration obtained from the Hall effect measurements. Our data show that at similar to 700 K, GeTe has a very large power factor, 42 mu Wcm(-1)K(-2), much larger than that of any high efficiency thermoelectric telluride at these temperatures. Electronic and thermal properties of GeTe are compared to PbTe, another well-known thermoelectric material, where free charge carriers, holes or electrons, are generated by vacancies on Pb or Te sites, respectively. Discrepancy in the data for GeTe reported in literature can be attributed to the variation in the Ge: Te ratio of solidified samples as well as to different conditions of measurements. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

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