Authors: Abad, B; Rull-Bravo, M; Hodson, SL; Xu, XF; Martin-Gonzalez, M

Electrochim. Acta. vol: 169. page: 0013-4686.
Date: jul-01. 2015.
Doi: 10.1016/j.electacta.2015.04.063.

The effect of the addition of a surfactant, sodium lignosulfonate (SLS), on the thermoelectric properties of tellurium films prepared by electrochemical deposition is studied. The growth mechanism is found to have an important role in the thermoelectric properties since the grain size of the films is sharply reduced when the surfactant is added to the solution. For this reason, the electrical resistivity of the tellurium films when the surfactant is not added is 229 mu Omega.m, which is lower than 798 mu Omega.m with SLS. The Seebeck coefficient values are not influenced, with values in the vicinity of 285 mu V/K for both solutions. The power factor resulted higher values than previous works, reaching values of 280 mu W/m.K-2 (without SLS) and 82 mu W/m.K-2 (with SLS) at room temperature. Finally, the thermal conductivity was measured by means of the Photoacoustic technique, which showed values of the order of 1 W/m.K for both solutions, which is a factor of 3 less than the bulk value of tellurium. A notable observation is that the power factor and the thermal conductivity of electrodeposited tellurium films have the same order of magnitude of bismuth telluride films grown by electrodeposition. The figure of merit is estimated to be approximately one order of magnitude higher than the bulk value, 0.09 without SLS and 0.03 with SLS, both at room temperature. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved..