Semiconducting Ge clathrates: Promising candidates for thermoelectric applications

G. S. Nolas, J. L. Cohn, G. A. Slack, S. B. Schujman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

824 Scopus citations


Transport properties of polycrystalline Ge clathrates with general composition Sr8Ga16Ge30 are reported in the temperature range 5 K≤T≤300 K. These compounds exhibit N-type semiconducting behavior with relatively high Seebeck coefficients and electrical conductivity, and room temperature carrier concentrations in the range of 1017-1018 cm-3. The thermal conductivity is more than an order of magnitude smaller than that of crystalline germanium and has a glasslike temperature dependence. The resulting thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, at room temperature for the present samples is 1 4 that of Bi2Te3 alloys currently used in devices for thermoelectric cooling. Extrapolating our measurements to above room temperature, we estimate that ZT>1 at T>700 K, thus exceeding that of most known materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-180
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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