Novel chalcogenide based glasses, ceramics and polycrystalline materials for thermoelectric application

Abstract : With the performance of direct conversion between thermal and electrical energy, thermoelectric materials, which are crucial in the renewable energy conversion roadmap, provide an alternative for power generation and refrigeration to solve the global energy crisis. But the low efficiency of the current materials, their usual costs, availability, and limited working temperatures, drastically constrain their application. Hence, the search for new and more efficient thermoelectric materials is one of the most dynamic objectives of this thesis. The key milestones achieved from this thesis work includes: (i) elucidating the mechanism for hole conductivity in Cu-As-Te glasses by X-ray absorption spectroscopy and quantum simulations; (ii) formulating a novel approach to achieve phonon-glass electron-crystal mechanism by crystallizing the Ge20Te77Se3 glasses by excess doping with metals or semi-metals (glass-ceramics); (iii) demonstrating the effect of processing route on the thermoelectric performance of CuPb18SbTe20 and highlighting the advantage of hybrid-flash spark plasma sintering technique, i.e., better optimization of electrical and thermal transport properties and achieving multi-scale hierarchical architectures; (iv) improving the thermoelectric performance of Pb-Sb-Te alloys (enhancement by 170%) by tuning their cation vacancies (Pb deficiencies); (v) understating the impact of doping just a group-11 coinage metal, or group-13 element on GeTe solid-state solution and recapitulating the need for pair substitution; (vi) substantially enhancing the average zT of In-Bi codoped GeTe; (vii) achieving a remarkably high and stable zT of close to 2 over a wide temperature range (600 – 773 K) by manipulating the electronic bands in Ga-Sb codoped GeTe, which has been processed by hybrid flash-spark plasma sintering, thus making it a serious candidate for energy harvesting systems.
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Bhuvanesh Srinivasan. Novel chalcogenide based glasses, ceramics and polycrystalline materials for thermoelectric application. Material chemistry. Université Rennes 1, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018REN1S036⟩. ⟨tel-01974992⟩

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