Ultralow thermal conductivity in n-type Ge-doped AgBiSe2 thermoelectric materials

Hsin-Jay Wu*, Pai Chun Wei, Hao Yen Cheng, Jie Ru Deng, Yang Yuan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The n-type I-V-VI2 AgBiSe2 features intrinsically low κ due to the anharmonicity of chemical bonds. Experimentally-determined isothermal section guides the starting compositions for the following AgBiSe2-based alloys. Among the undoped alloys, the Ag25Bi25Se50 exhibits a highest peak of zT∼0.75, and yet the neighboring Ag20Bi27.5Se52.5, which involves a Se-rich liquid phase, has a much lower zT∼0.3 at 748 K, respectively. With the incorporation of Ge, the (GeSe)0.03(AgBiSe2)0.97 exhibits an ultralow κ∼0.3 (W/mK), owing to the formation of Bi2Se3 nano-precipitate in the size of 20–40 nm. Additionally, the moiré fringes with a periodicity of 0.25 nm are observed in the Bi2Se3 nano-precipitate, implying the presence of local mass fluctuation and superlattice, which could further lead to enhancing phonon scattering and reduced κ. As a result, the ultra-low κ∼0.3 (W/mK) boosts the peak of zT up to zT∼1.05 in n-type (GeSe)0.03(AgBiSe2)0.97, which shows a 140% enhancement compared with that of the undoped AgBiSe2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-229
Number of pages13
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • BiSe nano-precipitate
  • Isothermal section
  • n-type AgBiSe
  • Thermoelectric material

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