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Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) Bengaluru 
A Tellurium-Free n-Type Material, and Implementations Thereof  
Kanishka Biswas, Manisha Samanta 
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) Bengaluru 
Application type:
Applied - 2018-09-14 
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Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) Bengaluru 
Realization of high thermoelectric (TE) performance in n-type semiconductors is of imperative need on account of the dearth of efficient n-type thermoelectric materials compared to the p-type counterpart. Moreover, development of efficient thermoelectric materials based on Te-free compound is desirable because of the scarcity of Te in the earth crust. Herein, we have invented the intrinsic ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric performance near room temperature in n-type BiSe and Bi1-xSbxSe, a Te-free solid, which recently has emerged as a weak topological insulator. BiSe possesses a layered structure consisting of a bismuth bilayer (Bi2) sandwiched between two Bi2Se3 quintuple layers [Se-Bi-Se-Bi-Se], resembling natural heterostructure. High thermoelectric performances of BiSe is realized through the ultralow lattice thermal conductivity (klat of ~ 0.6 W/mK at 300 K), which is significantly lower than that of Bi2Se3 (klat of ~ 1.8 W/mK at 300 K), although both of them belong to the same layered homologous family (Bi2)m(Bi2Se3)n. The experimental low-temperature specific heat data indicate that soft localized vibrations of bismuth bilayer in BiSe are responsible for its ultralow klat. Further optimization of thermoelectric properties of BiSe through Sb substitution and spark plasma sintering (SPS) results in high ZT ~ 0.8 at 425 K along the pressing direction, which is indeed remarkable among Te-free n-type thermoelectric materials near room temperature. 

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