Low-temperature, solution-based, scalable synthesis of Sb 2Te3 nanoparticles with an enhanced power factor

Heng Quan Yang, Lei Miao, Ming Zhang, Kaoru Ohno, Jian Hua Zhou, Hui Gu, Yang Shen, Hong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Nanostructured thermoelectric (TE) materials, for example Sb 2Te3, PbTe, and SiGe-based semiconductors, have excellent thermoelectric transport properties and are promising candidates for next-generation TE commercial application. However, it is a challenge to synthesize the corresponding pure nanocrystals with controlled size by low-temperature wet-chemical reaction. Herein, we report an alternative versatile solution-based method for synthesis of plate-like Sb 2Te3 nanoparticles in a flask using SbCl3 and Te powders as raw materials, EDTA-Na2 as complexing agent, and NaBH4 as reducing agent in the solvent (distilled water). To investigate their thermoelectric transport properties, the obtained powders were cold compacted into cuboid prisms then annealed under a protective N 2 atmosphere. The results showed that both the electrical conductivity (σ) and the power factor (S 2 σ) can be enhanced by improving the purity of the products and by increasing the annealing temperature. The highest power factor was 2.04 μW cm-1 K -2 at 140°C and electrical conductivity remained in the range 5-10 × 103 S m-1. This work provides a simple and economic approach to preparation of large quantities of nanostructured Sb 2Te3 with excellent TE performance, making it a fascinating candidate for commercialization of cooling devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Thermoelectric materials
  • anti-structure defects
  • antimony telluride
  • growth mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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