Molecularly Protected Bismuth Telluride Nanoparticles: Microemulsion Synthesis and Thermoelectric Transport Properties


  • We gratefully acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation under grants CTS-0303997 (GR and TBT), ECS-0501488 (GR), CTS-0348613 (TBT), the Prof. Bergmann award (GR) from the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (GR). Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


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A room-temperature microemulsion synthesis of molecularly capped bismuth telluride nanoparticles with small (average ca. 2.5 nm) diameters is reported (see figure). The use of thioglycolic acid ligands inhibits nanoparticle agglomeration and surface oxidation. Annealing the nanoparticle films to 350 ° C yields a Seebeck coefficient of  – 107 μV K–1. The findings are attractive for realizing of high figure of merit thermoelectric materials via nanostructuring control over surface chemistry.