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Keywords:

  • defects;
  • high-temperature stability;
  • oxides;
  • thermoelectrics

Abstract

Thermoelectric modules have been the subject of recent scientific interest, in part due to their remarkable potential applications, such as waste heat recovery systems for automotive applications, industrial thermal power stations, etc. Based on their superior thermal stability in air, oxides have been considered the material of choice for these high temperature applications, even though they display reduced efficiency compared to semimetals. Here we show that oxides are rather unstable at high temperature and that severe changes can occur even during measurement of their physical properties. We propose that cycling measurements should be done when reporting high temperature transport properties of materials.