Nanostructured thermoelectric materials have attracted lots of interest in recent years, due to their enhanced performance determined by their thermoelectric dimensionless figure of merit. However, because of equipment limitations, not much work has been done on combining simultaneous transport measurements and structural characterization on individual nanostructured thermoelectric materials. With an integrated TEM-STM system, we studied the structural behavior and electrical properties of bismuth (Bi) nanobelts and nanoparticles. Results showed that clean Bi nanostructures free of oxides can be produced by in-situ high temperature electro-migration and Joule annealing processes occurring within the electron microscope. Preliminary electrical measurements indicate a conductivity of two orders of magnitude lower for Bi nanoparticles than that for bulk Bi. Such in-situ studies are highly advantageous for studying the semimetal-semiconductor transition and how this transition could enhance thermoelectric properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering