Ultra-High Thermoelectric Performance in Bulk BiSbTe/Amorphous Boron Composites with Nano-Defect Architectures
© 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH Based on the Seebeck and Peltier effects, state-of-the-art bismuth telluride-based thermoelectric materials, which are capable of direct and reversible conversion of thermal to electrical energy, have great potential in energy harvesting and solid-state refrigerators. However, their widespread use is limited by their low conversion efficiency, which is determined by the dimensionless figure-of-merit (ZT). Significant enhancement of ZT is a great challenge owing to the common interdependence of electrical and thermal conductivity. Here, it is demonstrated that by incorporating nanoamorphous boron into the p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3, a record high ZT of 1.6 at 375 K is achieved. It is shown that a high density of nanostructures and dislocations due to the incorporation of the boron inclusions, leads to a significant reduction of thermal conductivity and improved charge transport. The findings represent an important step to further promote the development of thermoelectric technology and its widespread application in solid-state refrigeration and power generation from waste heat.