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Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 13;9(1):8624. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45162-7.

Grain Boundary Interfaces Controlled by Reduced Graphene Oxide in Nonstoichiometric SrTiO3-δ Thermoelectrics.

Author information

1
Energy & Environmental Materials Division, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering & Technology, Jinju, 52861, South Korea.
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Changwon National University, Changwon, 51140, South Korea.
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, 03722, South Korea.
4
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Changwon National University, Changwon, 51140, South Korea. leesoonil@changwon.ac.kr.

Abstract

Point defect or doping in Strontium titanium oxide (STO) largely determines the thermoelectric (TE) properties. So far, insufficient knowledge exists on the impact of double Schottky barrier on the TE performance. Herein, we report a drastic effect of double Schottky barrier on the TE performance in undoped STO. It demonstrates that incorporation of Reduced Graphene Oxide (RGO) into undoped STO weakens the double Schottky barrier and thereby results in a simultaneous increase in both carrier concentration and mobility of undoped STO. The enhanced mobility exhibits single crystal-like behavior. This increase in the carrier concentration and mobility boosts the electrical conductivity and power factor of undoped STO, which is attributed to the reduction of the double Schottky barrier height and/or the band alignment of STO and RGO that allow the charge transfer through the interface at grain boundaries. Furthermore, this STO/RGO interface also enhances the phonon scattering, which results in low thermal conductivity. This strategy significantly increases the ratio of σ/κ, resulting in an enhancement in ZT as compared with pure undoped STO. This study opens a new window to optimize the TE properties of many candidate materials.

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