The review embraces a number of research papers concerning the fabrication of oxide thermoelectric systems, with TiO2-SrTiO3 biphase ceramics being emphasized. The ceramics is particularly known for a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) forming spontaneously on the TiO2/SrTiO3 heterointerface (modulation doping), unlike ordinary 2DEG occurrence on specially fabricated thin film. Such effect is provided by the SrTiO3 conduction band edge being 0.40 and 0.20 eV higher than that for anatase and rutile TiO2, respectively. That is why, in the case of a checkered arrangement of TiO2 and SrTiO3 grains, the united 2D net is probably formed along the grain boundaries with 2DEG occurring there. To reach such conditions, there should be applied novelties in the field of ceramics materials science, because it is important to obtain highly dense material preserving small (nanoscale) grain size and thin interface boundary. The review also discusses some aspects of reactive spark plasma sintering as a promising method of preparing perovskite-oxide TiO2-SrTiO3 thermoelectric materials for high-temperature applications.
Keywords: 2DEG; SPS; SrTiO3; TiO2; biphase nanoceramics; oxide thermoelectric materials; spark plasma sintering; thermoelectric efficiency; thermoelectric efficiency ZT; two-dimensional electron gas.