Nanostructured Nb-substituted CaMnO3 n-type thermoelectric material prepared in a continuous process by ultrasonic spray combustion


One way to further optimize the thermoelectric properties toward a higher ZT is a temperature stable nanoengineering of materials, where the thermal conductivity is reduced by increasing the phonon scattering at the grain boundaries. To study this, Nb-substituted CaMnO3 perovskite-type material was synthesized by ultrasonic spray combustion (USC). The grain growth has been characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Finally, the thermoelectric properties of compacted and sintered bulk samples from powder prepared by a continuous scalable USC process were measured up to 1050 K. The thermoelectric legs were prepared by an adapted sintering process. Here, a compromise between enhanced porosity to reduce the thermal conductivity and securing of mechanical stability and low resistivity should be obtained. Based on the grain growth mechanisms, an advanced sintering process for additional interconnection of the particles without particle growth is needed to further increase the thermoelectric performance.

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The authors acknowledge Nico Studer for the great work on the USC, Songhak Yoon for help in the XRD measurements, Oliver Brunko for the help in sample preparation, Ye Lu for the BET experiments, Lassi Karvonen for help and discussion about the heat treatment of the samples, and finally Petr Tomeš for help with the data treatment.

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Correspondence to Anke Weidenkaff.

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Populoh, S., Trottmann, M., Aguire, M.H. et al. Nanostructured Nb-substituted CaMnO3 n-type thermoelectric material prepared in a continuous process by ultrasonic spray combustion. Journal of Materials Research 26, 1947–1952 (2011).

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