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Novel Solution Route Synthesis of Low Thermal Conductivity Nanocrystalline Bismuth Telluride

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A novel synthesis approach based on a solution route has been developed for the fabrication of nanocrystalline bismuth telluride. The method consists of dissolving both bismuth and tellurium into the same organic solvent with the assistance of complexing agents and one-step coprecipitation of bismuth telluride. The synthesized nanocrystalline bismuth telluride powders possess rhombohedral crystal structure and are nanosheet/nanorod-like with an average size of between 30 and 40 nm. The thermal conductivity of the hot-pressed compact consolidated from the as-synthesized nanopowders is 0.39–0.45 Wm−1K−1 in the temperature range of 323 to 523 K, which is at most one third of that of bulk bismuth telluride-based materials reported in the literature. Such low thermal conductivity of the investigated bismuth telluride is mainly attributed to substantially high concentration of grain boundaries provided by nanostructuring to scatter phonons intensively.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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