Microstructure and Thermoelectric Properties of Al-Doped ZnO Sintered Body
ZnO is heat-resistant and inexpensive, and the raw material of which is abundant, it is considered to be a good candidate thermoelectric material. Usually, a low-resistance n-type ZnO sintered body is obtained by doping 0.5-5 mol% Al2O3 followed by burning at a high temperature of approximately 1673K. However, this high-temperature burning has drawbacks, such as high power consumption and an increase in thermal conductivity with grain growth. Under these circumstances, we attempted to address these disadvantages. When ZnO was burned with Al as a dopant in an electric furnace at a temperature as low as approximately 1473K, ZnO with relatively good thermoelectric properties was obtained. In addition, the Al-doped sample showed lower electric resistance (332 K: 6.85×10-4Ωcm) than the Al2O3-doped sample, as determined on the basis of the resistance temperature characteristics of these samples. The causes of this low resistance may be as follows: 1) the metal-Al-mediated sample was densified by burning at a low temperature of approximately 1473K and 2) the Al distribution to the entire region of the ZnO bulk, resulting in the spread of Al solid-solution regions in the ZnO. We also found that the thermal conductivity decreased (973 K: 3.66 Wm-1K-1) in the Al-doped sample.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
N. Shikatani et al., "Microstructure and Thermoelectric Properties of Al-Doped ZnO Sintered Body", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 2172-2177, 2010