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Steven N. Girard, Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, Thomas C. Chasapis, Euripides Hatzikraniotis, B. Njegic, E. M. Levin, A. Rawal, Konstantinos M. Paraskevopoulos and Mercouri G. Kanatzidis Analysis of Phase Separation in High Performance PbTe–PbS Thermoelectric Materials Advanced Functional Materials 23

Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201201944

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In addition to microstructural analysis, adherence to Vegard's law of alloys has long been the standard toward assessing thermoelectric materials as solid solutions as opposed to nano-phase separated. Using infrared reflectivity and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, incipient phase separation may be observed for certain quenched “alloys” of PbTe1-xSx that obey Vegard's law by in situ powder synchrotron X-ray diffraction, demonstrating that careful chemical analysis is required to adequately demonstrate whether a thermoelectric material is truly phase homogeneous.

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