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Fundamentals of Thermoelectricity$
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Kamran Behnia

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697663

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697663.001.0001

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Experimental Survey II: Narrow-Gap Semiconductors

Experimental Survey II: Narrow-Gap Semiconductors

(p.105) 7 Experimental Survey II: Narrow-Gap Semiconductors
Fundamentals of Thermoelectricity

Kamran Behnia

Oxford University Press

The subject of this chapter is the thermoelectric response in semiconductors, which are known to be good thermoelectric materials, because of their high thermoelectric figure of merit. It is recalled that the ground state of these systems is a dilute metal with well-defined Fermi surface. In other words, the parent semiconductor is doped sufficiently to find itself on the metallic side of eth metal-insulator transition. The Fermi temperature is so low, however, that at room temperature the fermionic system becomes non-degenerate. The properties of tree family of narrow-gap semiconductors (lead-telluride and her sisters, PbTe and other IV-VI salts and finally Bi1-xSbx alloys) are reviewed. The chapter ends by a discussion of phonon mean-free-path, which is the key parameter to attain a sizeable figure of merit.

Keywords:   figure of merit, metal–insulator transition, bismuth telluride, lead telluride, bi1−xSbx alloys

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