Influence d'inclusions de PbTe ou de ZnO sur les propriétés thermoélectriques de matériaux skutterudites

Abstract : This work was carried out as part of a study on nanostructured bulk thermoelectric materials, compounds whose properties can potentially be improved with many interfaces. It is related to the synthesis and characterization of skutterudites (CoSb3 or In0.4Co4Sb12) containing nanoinclusions of PbTe or ZnO. Techniques of powder metallurgy and laser fragmentation in liquid medium were combined to X-rays diffraction analyses, SEM and TEM observations to develop the experimental procedure for the preparation of materials. The microstructures of the composites show that the dispersion step is the most difficult part of the preparation as it leads to agglomerates located at the grain boundaries. The porosity is also relatively large when the quantity of inclusions is high especially with ZnO. The electrical and thermal properties (thermoelectric power, electrical resistivity, Hall effect, thermal conductivity) have been measured over a wide temperature range (2-800 K) and correlated with the microstructures. The results analysis showed that PbTe tends to degrade the electrical properties of the two matrixes because of a reaction between the nanoparticles and the skutterudites. Contrarily, the addition of ZnO seems more promising although it is difficult to conclude definitively on its effectiveness given the complexity of the microstructures (defects, pores, grain boundaries). A theoretical model developed to better understand the impact of the particle sizes on the thermal properties showed that it is more interesting to work with partially filled skutterudites instead of pure CoSb3 since the inclusions mostly affect the scattering of long wavelength phonons. The trends that emerge from this study are rather in the sense of a deterioration of the thermoelectric properties with this type of nanostructure when the quantities of nanoparticles exceed a few percentage. The use of smaller quantities and a better controlled porosity should be considered
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Caroline Chubilleau. Influence d'inclusions de PbTe ou de ZnO sur les propriétés thermoélectriques de matériaux skutterudites. Autre. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010INPL059N⟩. ⟨tel-01748840⟩

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