Enhanced thermoelectric performance of BiCuTeO by excess Bi additions

Chang, H-C, You H-J, Sankar R, Yang Y-J, Chen L-C, Chen K-H.  2019.  Enhanced thermoelectric performance of BiCuTeO by excess Bi additions, 2019. 45(7, Part A):9254-9259.


Thermoelectric (TE) devices used to convert waste heat directly into electricity are highly desirable for alleviating the prevailing energy crisis and global climate-change issues. Among the various TE materials available, metal oxides exhibit high thermal and chemical stabilities in air, and are hence, preferred for use in many TE applications. However, most of them possess TE figures of merit (ZT) that are below the applicable value of 2, in the mid-temperature region (from 250 to 600 °C). In a previous work, the removal of a small amount of Bi from BiCuSeO was found to improve the ZT of BiCuSeO. In this work, we pursue another track and study the TE performance of BiCuTeO after the addition of up to 6% excess Bi. Bi1+xCuTeO (x = 0.00–0.06) samples were prepared by solid-state reactions, followed by hot-pressing to form pellets. By adding a stoichiometric excess of Bi into BiCuTeO, 16% enhancement in power factor was achieved at 450 °C. This enhancement can be attributed to the increase in the Seebeck coefficient because of the appearance of secondary phases. Detailed characterizations and discussions of the effect of the nominal excess Bi in BiCuTeO are presented in this paper. The findings of this study can be applied in the investigation of novel high-performance TE materials.