High-Performance Thermoelectrics from Cellular Nanostructured Sb2Si2Te6

Yubo Luo, Songting Cai, Shiqiang Hao, Florian Pielnhofer, Ido Hadar, Zhong Zhen Luo, Jianwei Xu, Chris Wolverton, Vinayak P. Dravid, Arno Pfitzner*, Qingyu Yan, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Thermoelectric materials promise to create additional efficiencies in energy management by harvesting the energy of waste heat and converting it to electricity. We introduce 2D Sb2Si2Te6 as a promising new high-performance thermoelectric material. Sb2Si2Te6 exhibits an intrinsically high thermoelectric figure of merit ZT value of ∼1.08 at 823 K. We then devise a unique cellular nanostructure by a post-synthetic reaction strategy that forms in situ Si2Te3 nanosheets, which serve as an effective barrier to heat propagation, yielding an ∼40% reduction in the already very low lattice thermal conductivity to ∼0.29 Wm−1K−1 at 823 K. The cellular nanostructure enables a very high ZT value of ∼1.65 at 823 K for this new material and a high average ZT value of 0.98 (400–823 K). We describe the novel cellular nanostructure design and a single-step chemical route to achieve it, highlighting a potentially new and effective general design strategy for achieving high thermoelectric performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • SbSiTe
  • Seebeck coefficient
  • SiTe
  • cellular nanostructure
  • core-shell
  • minority blocking
  • narrow gap semiconductors
  • thermoelectric
  • waste heat recovery


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