Role of intrinsic defects on thermoelectric properties of ZnO:Al films

Shiying Liu, Guojian Li, Mingdi Lan, Miaoyong Zhu, Koji Miyazaki, Qiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we explored the role of the intrinsic defects on the tuning thermoelectric (TE) performance of Al-doped ZnO (ZnO:Al) films. The intrinsic defects of the Zn interstitial (Zni) and the oxygen vacancy (VO) were controlled by varying the Zn content by using the radio frequency atomic source vacuum evaporation method. In the Zn-rich case, the excessive Zn formed Zni to provide most of the carriers. VO became the main origin of the carriers with a decreasing Zn content. When the Zn content was 55.2% and 52.5%, the segregation of Zni decreased the carrier concentration and subsequently, enhanced the resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient. The ZnO:Al film with a Zn content of 52.5% had the highest power factor of 274.03 μW·m−1·K−2 at 819 K. In addition, the higher Zni concentration had a more prominent effect on thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity increased to 1.756 W·m−1·K−1 from 0.608 W·m−1·K−1 with the Zn content decreasing from 55.2% to 50.6%. The ZT value reached the highest of 0.121 when the film had the optimum Zn concentration of 51.5%. This study concluded that the tuning of the intrinsic defects was an effective method to enhance the TE performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17760-17767
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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