Tellurium based thermoelectric materials: New directions and prospects

Yogesh Chandra Sharma, Amol Purohit


Telluride alloys are widely used in thermoelectric devices which generate electricity from waste heat or act as Peltier coolers. Limited by toxicity these are best materials for room temperature range. It has been observed that figure of merit (ZT) of these rises with temperature but decreases attaining a peak. Thanks to modern synthesis and characterization techniques, an era of complex thermoelectric materials is approaching. This work explores the strategies used to improve the thermopower for the two most important tellurium based compounds namely Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) and Antimony telluride (Sb2Te3). With the variation in the composition of these compounds changes/ enhancement in the thermoelectric properties and possibility of compositions which may be optimized for development of applications above room temperature have been explored. It is concluded that although current experimental works reveals a few promising thermoelectric properties of these materials, intensive investigation should be initiated to achieve/ explore more improvable properties.


Thermoelectronic phenomena; Thermoelectric energy conversion; Thermoelectric effects in thin films; Figure of merit (energy conversion);

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