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Influence of Nb-doping on the local structure and thermoelectric properties of transparent TiO2:Nb thin films

AuthorsRibeiro, J.M.; Correia, F.C.; Kuzmin, A.; Jonane, I.; Kong, M.; Goñi, Alejandro R. CSIC ORCID; Reparaz, J. Sebastian; Kalinko, A.; Welter, E.; Tavares, C.J.
KeywordsThin films
Issue Date15-Oct-2020
CitationJournal of Alloys and Compounds 838: 155561 (2020)
AbstractTransparent n-type niobium-doped titanium dioxide thin films (TiO2:1.5 at.%Nb) with pronounced thermoelectric properties were produced from a composite Ti:Nb target by reactive magnetron sputtering. The thin films were comprehensively characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, electrical conductivity, and thermoelectric measurement techniques. The local structure of the thin films was investigated in detail by X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Ti and Nb K-edges. A set of radial distribution functions were extracted from the simultaneous analysis of EXAFS data at two absorption edges using the reverse Monte Carlo method. It was found that Nb dopant atoms modify the local environment of the films, but their average structure remains close to that of the anatase phase. This conclusion is also supported by the ab initio simulations of XANES. A very high absolute Seebeck coefficient (S = 155 μV/K) for n-type TiO2 was achieved with Nb doping, yielding a maximum power factor and thermoelectric figure of merit of 0.5 mW m−1 K−2 and 0.18 at a temperature of 300 K, respectively, for a 150 nm thick film. From frequency-domain thermoreflectance experiments, a thermal conductivity value of 1.3 W m−1 K−1 was obtained for the optimized TiO2:Nb film.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jallcom.2020.155561
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