Filled skutterudites are currently studied as promising thermoelectric materials due to their high power factor and low thermal conductivity. The latter property, in particular, can be enhanced by adding scattering centers, such as the ones deriving from low dimensionality and the presence of interfaces. This work reports on the synthesis and characterization of thin films belong-ing to the Smy(FexNi1-x)4Sb12-filled skutterudite system. Films were deposited under vacuum conditions by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) method on fused silica substrates, and the deposition temperature was varied. The effect of the annealing process was studied by subjecting a set of films to a thermal treatment for 1 h at 423 K. Electrical conductivity σ and Seebeck coefficient S were acquired by the four-probe method using a ZEM-3 apparatus performing cycles in the 348–523 K temperature range, recording both heating and cooling processes. Films deposited at room temperature required three cycles up to 523 K before being stabilized, thus revealing the importance of a proper annealing process in order to obtain reliable physical data. XRD analyses confirm the previ-ous result, as only annealed films present a highly crystalline skutterudite not accompanied by extra phases. The power factor of annealed films is shown to be lower than in the corresponding bulk samples due to the lower Seebeck coefficients occurring in films. Room temperature thermal con-ductivity, on the contrary, shows values comparable to the ones of doubly doped bulk samples, thus highlighting the positive effect of interfaces on the introduction of scattering centers, and therefore on the reduction of thermal conductivity.
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