chapter  25
10 Pages

Solvothermal Synthesis of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials

Nanostructured thermoelectric (TE) materials have become an active research field recently to overcome

the efficiency barrier limiting the applications of conventional bulk TE materials. The conversion

efficiency of a TE device is represented by the dimensionless figure-of-merit ZT ¼ Ta

s=k; where T is the

absolute temperature, a is the Seebeck coefficient, s and k are the electrical and thermal conductivity,

respectively, of the TE material. Theoretical calculations of low-dimensional TE materials have predicted

a significant enhancement in ZT as the film thickness in two-dimensional (2D) systems

or the wire

diameter in one-dimensional (1D) systems

is decreased. These structures are benefiting from enhanced

carrier and enhanced phonon scattering at the boundaries. In the last decade, the preparations and

properties of low-dimensional TE materials have been intensively investigated, especially those of

superlattice thin films

and nanowire arrays.