Thermoelectric properties of thin films of bismuth telluride electrochemically deposited on stainless steel substrates
Journal article, 2011
Bismuth telluride thin films have been synthesized by electrochemical deposition onto stainless steel substrates from acidic solutions. The influence of deposition variables on film composition, morphology and crystal orientation associated with the growth of the film was investigated by means of constant potential deposition and pulsed potential deposition. In-plane thermoelectric and transport properties of the electrodeposited films were measured. The carrier concentration of the electrodeposited films was found to be one order of magnitude larger than typically reported for optimized bulk bismuth telluride, which explains the unusually low Hall mobility and Seebeck coefficient values found for the electrodeposited films. Pulse deposited films showed slightly lower electrical resistivity and higher Seebeck coefficient due to the lower porosity and less preferred crystal orientation of the films compared to the continuously deposited films. Improvements of the film properties are necessary to make them viable for applications.