Nanostructuring is an effective approach to improve thermoelectric (TE) performance, which is caused by the interface and quantum effects on electron and phonon transport. For a typical layered structure such as sodium cobalt (NCO), a highly textured ceramic with nanostructure is beneficial for the carrier transport properties due to the strong anisotropy. In this paper, we established a textured NCO ceramic with highly oriented single crystals in nanoscale. The Na0.6CoO2 platelet crystals were prepared by a one-step hydrothermal method. The growth mechanism was revealed to involve dissolution–recrystallization and exchange reactions. NCO TE ceramics fabricated by a press-aided spark plasma sintering method showed a high degree of texturing, with the platelet crystals basically lying along the in-plane direction perpendicular to the press direction. TE properties of the textured NCO ceramics showed a strong anisotropic behavior. The in-plane electrical conductivity was considerably larger than the out-of-plane data because of fewer grain boundaries and interfaces that existed in the in-plane direction. Moreover, the in-plane Seebeck coefficient was higher because of the anisotropic electronic nature of NCO. Although the in-plane thermal conductivity was high, a prior ZT value was enabled for these NCO ceramics along this direction because of the dominant electrical transport. This finding provides a new approach to prepare highly oriented ceramics.
Journal of Electronic Materials – Springer Journals
Published: May 11, 2018