Pawel Ziolkowski, Gabriele Karpinski, Titas Dasgupta and Eckhard Müller Probing thermopower on the microscale physica status solidi (a) 210
Homogeneity analyses of thermoelectric (TE) semiconductors mainly require the determination of thermopower distribution, which provides meaningful information on the phase distribution and a benchmark on materials performance and repeatability of materials preparation. Insights into material structures and compositional distribution are not only necessary for investigations on high performance TE materials but are a fundamental pre-condition for the development of standard reference materials for thermopower. The high demand on their functional homogeneity disqualifies the use of high purity elements in most cases, as can be seen from the thermopower distribution of a germanium sample, since smallest impurities are frequently linked to a massive impact on thermopower due to its strong dependence on carrier concentration and structural variations.
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