Skutterudites: Promising Power Conversion Thermoelectric Materials
Skutterudites have emerged as one of the most promising new thermoelectrics for power conversion applications in the intermediate range of temperatures up to near 1000K. Making use of void filling, doping and alloying one can form both n- and p-type conducting structures with the figure of merit exceeding the value of unity. Large power factors, together with large atomic displacement parameters that bode well for a possible significant reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity upon void filling, are an important aspect of the skutterudite structure. I review the progress made in the manipulation of the skutterudite structure to achieve high thermoelectric performance and I will highlight the latest attempts to fabricate highly efficient n-type forms of the material.