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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Jun 7;9(22):19143-19151. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b04404. Epub 2017 May 25.

Colloidal Synthesis of Te-Doped Bi Nanoparticles: Low-Temperature Charge Transport and Thermoelectric Properties.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) , Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea.
Thermoelectric Conversion Research Center, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) , Changwon 51543, Republic of Korea.


Electronically doped nanoparticles formed by incorporation of impurities have been of great interest because of their controllable electrical properties. However, the development of a strategy for n-type or p-type doping on sub-10 nm-sized nanoparticles under the quantum confinement regime is very challenging using conventional processes, owing to the difficulty in synthesis. Herein, we report the colloidal chemical synthesis of sub-10 nm-sized tellurium (Te)-doped Bismuth (Bi) nanoparticles with precisely controlled Te content from 0 to 5% and systematically investigate their low-temperature charge transport and thermoelectric properties. Microstructural characterization of nanoparticles demonstrates that Te ions are successfully incorporated into Bi nanoparticles rather than remaining on the nanoparticle surfaces. Low-temperature Hall measurement results of the hot-pressed Te-doped Bi-nanostructured materials, with grain sizes ranging from 30 to 60 nm, show that the charge transport properties are governed by the doping content and the related impurity and nanoscale grain boundary scatterings. Furthermore, the low-temperature thermoelectric properties reveal that the electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient expectedly change with the Te content, whereas the thermal conductivity is significantly reduced by Te doping because of phonon scattering at the sites arising from impurities and nanoscale grain boundaries. Accordingly, the 1% Te-doped Bi sample exhibits a higher figure-of-merit ZT by ∼10% than that of the undoped sample. The synthetic strategy demonstrated in this study offers the possibility of electronic doping of various quantum-confined nanoparticles for diverse applications.


bismuth; charge carrier transport; colloidal synthesis; doped nanoparticles; thermoelectric properties


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