Enhanced thermoelectric properties of Mg2Si by addition of TiO2 nanoparticles
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012
The effects on the thermoelectric properties of Mg2Si when adding TiO2 nanoparticles have been evaluated experimentally. A batch of Mg2Si was prepared through direct solid state reaction and divided into portions which were mechanically mixed with different amounts of TiO2 nanoparticles ranging from 0.5 to 3 vol% and subsequently sintered to disks. All materials showed n-type conduction and the absolute value of the Seebeck coefficient was reduced with increasing amount of TiO2 added, while the electrical resistivity was greatly reduced. The thermal conductivity was surprisingly little affected by the addition of the nanoparticles. An optimum value of the thermoelectric figure-of-merit ZT = TS2 sigma/k was found for the addition of 1 vol% TiO2, showing almost three times higher ZT value than that of the pure Mg2Si. Larger TiO2 additions resulted in lower ZT values and with 3 vol% added TiO2 the ZT was comparable to the pure Mg2Si. The sintering process resulted in reduction or chemical reaction of all TiO2 to TiSi2 and possibly elemental titanium as well as reduced TiOx. The increased electrical conductivity and the decreased Seebeck coefficient were found due to an increased charge carrier concentration, likely caused by the included compounds or titanium-doping of the Mg2Si matrix. The low observed effect on the thermal conductivity of the composites may be explained by the relatively higher thermal conductivity of the included compounds, counter-balancing the expected increased grain boundary scattering. Alternatively, the introduction of compounds does not significantly increase the concentration of scattering grain boundaries.