Review Article

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2017, 10(5): 1498–1509

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-017-1422-9

Recent progress in thermoelectric nanocomposites based on solution-synthesized nanoheterostructures

Wei Zheng1,§, Biao Xu1,§, Lin Zhou2, Yilong Zhou3, Haimei Zheng3, Chenghan Sun1, Enzheng Shi1, Tanner Dale Fink1, and Yue Wu1 (*)

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1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
2 Ames Laboratory, Department of Energy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
3 Material Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
§ These authors contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: thermoelectrics, nanoheterostructures, phase change
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ABSTRACT Thermoelectric materials, which can convert waste heat into electricity, have received increasing research interest in recent years. This paper describes the recent progress in thermoelectric nanocomposites based on solution-synthesized nanoheterostructures. We start our discussion with the strategies of improving the power factor of a given material by using nanoheterostructures. Then we discuss the methods of decreasing thermal conductivity. Finally, we highlight a way of decoupling power factor and thermal conductivity, namely, incorporating phase-transition materials into a nanowire heterostructure. We have explored the lead telluride–copper telluride thermoelectric nanowire heterostructure in this work. Future possible ways to improve the figure of merit are discussed at the end of this paper.
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Recent progress in thermoelectric nanocomposites based on solution-synthesized nanoheterostructures. Nano Res. 2017, 10(5): 1498–1509 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-017-1422-9

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