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Silicon-Based Thermoelectrics Made from a Boron-Doped Silicon Dioxide Nanocomposite

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We report a method for preparing p-type silicon germanium bulk alloys directly from a boron-doped silica germania nanocomposite. This is the first successful attempt to produce and characterize the thermoelectric properties of SiGe-based thermoelectric materials prepared at temperatures below the alloy's melting point through a magnesiothermic reduction of the silica-germania nanocomposite. We observe a thermoelectric power factor that is competitive with the literature record obtained for high energy ball milled nanocomposites. The large grain size in our hot pressed samples limits the thermoelectric figure of merit to 0.5 at 800 C for an optimally doped Si80Ge20 alloy. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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