Influence of Oxygen Partial Pressure during Processing on the Thermoelectric Properties of Aerosol-Deposited CuFeO₂

Materials (Basel). 2016 Mar 24;9(4):227. doi: 10.3390/ma9040227.


In the field of thermoelectric energy conversion, oxide materials show promising potential due to their good stability in oxidizing environments. Hence, the influence of oxygen partial pressure during synthesis on the thermoelectric properties of Cu-Delafossites at high temperatures was investigated in this study. For these purposes, CuFeO₂ powders were synthetized using a conventional mixed-oxide technique. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies were conducted to determine the crystal structures of the delafossites associated with the oxygen content during the synthesis. Out of these powders, films with a thickness of about 25 µm were prepared by the relatively new aerosol-deposition (AD) coating technique. It is based on a room temperature impact consolidation process (RTIC) to deposit dense solid films of ceramic materials on various substrates without using a high-temperature step during the coating process. On these dense CuFeO₂ films deposited on alumina substrates with electrode structures, the Seebeck coefficient and the electrical conductivity were measured as a function of temperature and oxygen partial pressure. We compared the thermoelectric properties of both standard processed and aerosol deposited CuFeO₂ up to 900 °C and investigated the influence of oxygen partial pressure on the electrical conductivity, on the Seebeck coefficient and on the high temperature stability of CuFeO₂. These studies may not only help to improve the thermoelectric material in the high-temperature case, but may also serve as an initial basis to establish a defect chemical model.

Keywords: aerosol deposition method (ADM); delafossite; room temperature impact consolidation (RTIC); thermoelectric properties.