Microwave plasma synthesis of Si/Ge and Si/WSi2nanoparticles for thermoelectric applications
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
The utilization of microwave-based plasma systems enables a contamination-free synthesis of highly specific nanoparticles in the gas phase. A reactor setup allowing stable, long-term operation was developed with the support of computational fluid dynamics. This paper highlights the prospects of gas-phase plasma synthesis to produce specific materials for bulk thermoelectrics. Taking advantage of specific plasma reactor properties such as Coulomb repulsion in combination with gas temperatures
... gas temperatures considerably higher than 1000 K, spherical and non-aggregated nanoparticles of multiple compositions are accessible. Different strategies towards various nanostructured composites and alloys are discussed. It is shown that, based on doped silicon/germanium alloys and composites, thermoelectric materials with zT values up to almost unity can be synthesized in one step. First experimental results concerning silicon/tungsten silicide thermoelectrics applying the nanoparticle-in-alloy idea are presented indicating that this concept might work. However, it is found that tungsten silicides show a surprising sinter activity more than 1000 K below their melting temperature.