Insights into the Classification of Nanoinclusions of Composites for Thermoelectric Applications

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4781–4796
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Electronic Materials
Issue number10
Online published26 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes



Thermoelectric composites are known for their enhanced power conversion performance via interfacial engineering and intensified mechanical, structural, and thermal properties. However, the selection of these nanoinclusions, for example, their type, size effect, volume fraction, distribution uniformity, coherency with host, carrier dynamics, and physical stability, plays a crucial role in modifying the host material thermoelectric properties. In this Review, we classify the nanoinclusions into five types: carbon allotropes, secondary thermoelectric phases, metallic materials, insulating oxides, and others. On the basis of the classification, we discuss the mechanisms involved in improving the ZT of nanocomposites involving reduction of thermal conductivity (κ) by phonon scattering, improving the Seebeck coefficient (α) via energy filtering effect and the electrical conductivity (σ) by carrier injection or carrier channeling. Comprehensibly, we validate that adding nanoinclusions with high electrical and low thermal conductivity as compared to the matrix material is the best way to optimize the interlocked thermoelectric parameters. Thus, collective doping and nanoinclusions in thermoelectric materials is the best possible solution to achieve a higher power conversion efficiency equivalent to other renewable energy technologies.

Research Area(s)

  • nanoinclusion, thermoelectrics, nanocomposites, phonon scattering, energy filtering

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