Alloyed Thermoelectric PbTe-SnTe Films Formed via Aerosol Deposition

Jesse M. Adamczyk, Souvik Ghosh, Tara L. Braden, Christopher J. Hogan, Eric S. Toberer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The discovery of new thermoelectric materials has the potential to benefit from advances in high-throughput methodologies. Traditional synthesis and characterization routes for thermoelectrics are time-consuming serial processes. In contrast, high-throughput materials discovery is commonly done by thin film growth, which may produce microstructures that are metastable or compositionally graded and, therefore, are challenging to characterize. As a middle ground between bulk synthesis and thin film deposition, we find that the aerosol deposition process can rapidly produce samples that exhibit electronic property trends consistent with those produced by traditional bulk means. We demonstrate rapid growth of discrete thermoelectric thick films of varying chemical compositions (Pb1-xSnxTe) from PbTe and SnTe polydisperse micrometer sized powder feedstocks. The high deposition rate (near 1 μm min-1) and resultant microstructures are advantageous as the diffusion length scales promote rapid thermal treatment and equilibrium phase formation. Room-temperature high-throughput measurements of the Seebeck coefficient and resistivity are compared to traditionally produced bulk materials. The Seebeck coefficient of the films follows the trends of traditional samples, but the resistivity is found to be more sensitive to microstructural effects. Ultimately, we demonstrate a framework for exploratory materials science using aerosol deposition and high-throughput characterization instrumentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-759
Number of pages7
JournalACS Combinatorial Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 11 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • Seebeck coefficient
  • high-throughput methodology
  • microstructures
  • thermoelectric materials
  • thick film


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