Alloying Cr2/3Te in AgCrSe2 compound for improving thermoelectrics

Applied Physics Letters, Volume 118, Issue 19, May 2021. AgCrSe2, which crystallizes in alternative layers of Ag+ and CrSe2− octahedral structure, has shown great potential as good thermoelectric material due to its unique ultralow lattice thermal conductivity. In this work, compound Cr2/3Te is alloyed with the matrix Ag0.97CrSe2 and the carrier concentration ranges within 1018–1020 cm−3, enabling a reliable assessment of transport properties based on single parabolic band model at room temperature. Moreover, homogeneous nanoprecipitate is observed in the matrix for high Cr2/3Te content samples, which leads to the scattering of main heat carrier of long-wavelength phonons, and thus a slight reduction of lattice thermal conductivity (∼0.3 W/m K) compared with intrinsic AgCrSe2. Combined with the optimized carrier concentration and the low lattice thermal conductivity, a figure of merit zT of 0.6 at 650 K is achieved, exceeding other reported AgCrSe2 systems, demonstrating the current Ag0.97CrSe2(Cr2/3Te)x materials as good potential thermoelectrics.