Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Chemical alloying method for fabrication of nano-structured skutterudites

A novel chemical alloying method has been developed for the fabrication of nanocrystalline skutterudites with the general formula M(x)Co(1-x)Sb(3-y)Te(y) (M= Ni or Fe). The method consists of a combination of solution chemical coprecipitation and thermochemical processing under controlled conditions.

The coprecipitated precursor consists of a homogeneous mixture, or even a solid solution, of the different intermediate compounds of the desired elements, and exhibits high reactivity for further processing. After the precursor is calcined at a moderate temperature 350degrees Celsius for 1-2 hrs, followed by hydrogen reduction at 450 350oC for 2 hrs, the nanocrystalline skutterudite is produced at a phase purity >95%.

The method developed in this work is much simpler than conventional melt technique. High concentration of grain boundaries provided by nanostructuring, has been shown to lower the thermal conductivity of the material and so enhance the thermoelectric performance greatly.

More information on the NANOTHERMEL project can be found at:

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Royal Institute of Technology
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