Facile composite engineering to boost thermoelectric power conversion in ZnSb device

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  • Sanjib Nayak
  • Kadir Ufuk Kandira
  • Dani S. Assi
  • Venkataramanan Kannan


Original languageEnglish
Article number111329
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
Online published13 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


Zinc antimonide (ZnSb) is one of the alternatives for commercial thermoelectric materials due to its non-toxic, low-cost, and earth-abundant nature. However, its simple crystal structure causes strong phonon vibrations, which enhance lattice thermal conductivity. In this work, we systematically studied the effect of γ-Al2O3 nano-inclusions on ZnSb. Our results show that composite engineering imparts lattice phonon scattering for reduced thermal conductivity and low-energy carrier filtering for enhanced Seebeck coefficient. The obtained figure of merit in the ZnSb+5% γ-Al2O3 sample at 673 K is nearly two-fold higher than the pristine sample. Our fabricated 2-leg ZnSb+5% γ-Al2O3 device displayed a power generation of 0.11 μW at ΔT of 200 °C. Furthermore, adding γ-Al2O3 nano-inclusions improve the mechanical and thermal stabilities due to grain boundary hardening and dispersion strengthening. Overall, the addition of γ-Al2O3 nano-inclusions to ZnSb enhancing the Seebeck coefficient, reducing thethermal conductivity, and improving mechanical and thermal stability significantly. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • ZnSb, γ-Al2O3, Nano-inclusion, Phonon scattering, Thermal conductivity

Citation Format(s)