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Science. 2004 Feb 6;303(5659):818-21.

Cubic AgPb(m)SbTe(2+m): bulk thermoelectric materials with high figure of merit.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


The conversion of heat to electricity by thermoelectric devices may play a key role in the future for energy production and utilization. However, in order to meet that role, more efficient thermoelectric materials are needed that are suitable for high-temperature applications. We show that the material system AgPb(m)SbTe(2+m) may be suitable for this purpose. With m = 10 and 18 and doped appropriately, n-type semiconductors can be produced that exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit material ZTmax of approximately 2.2 at 800 kelvin. In the temperature range 600 to 900 kelvin, the AgPb(m)SbTe(2+m) material is expected to outperform all reported bulk thermoelectrics, thereby earmarking it as a material system for potential use in efficient thermoelectric power generation from heat sources.

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