Graduation Year

2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Physics

Major Professor

Nolas, George S.

Keywords

physics, skutterudite, material, thermoelectric, semiconductor

Abstract

Skutterudites have been of great interest for thermoelectric applications over the last ten years. Scientific interest has focused on the unique transport properties Skutterudites possess due to the unique crystal structure. Technical interest has grown since it was discovered that some compounds rival the current best thermoelectric materials. To further the understanding of this material system, and optimize its thermoelectric properties, the synthesis and characterization of polycrystalline n- and ptype CoGe1.5Se1.5 was undertaken. Structural, morphological, chemical, electrical, thermal and magnetic properties were studied. These data are compared to those of the binary Skutterudite CoSb3. The results of this study show a very sensitive dependence of the physical properties on stoichiometry. While the thermoelectric figure of merit is low in these materials, it is apparent that optimization via doping and “void filling” will lead to improved thermoelectric properties.

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