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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 642909, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/642909
Review Article

Recent Developments in β-Zn4Sb3 Based Thermoelectric Compounds

1Institute of Materials Science, University of Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2Key Laboratory of Materials Physics, Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China

Received 9 April 2015; Revised 6 August 2015; Accepted 9 August 2015

Academic Editor: Matteo Ferroni

Copyright © 2015 Tianhua Zou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Thermoelectricity has been recognized as an environmentally friendly energy conversion technology due to its ability to directly achieve conversion between heat and electricity for a long time. β- has attracted considerable interest as promising thermoelectric material in the moderate temperature range (500 K–900 K), which is the temperature range of most industrial waste heat sources. In this paper, first we present the structure of β- and the traditional doping strategy used to enhance its performance. Next, we review the details of some new methods utilized for improving the thermoelectric properties of β- and its thermal stability as well as reliability. Finally, the review finishes with highlighting some promising strategies for future research directions in the material.