Combinatorial analysis of thermoelectric materials using pulsed laser deposition

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Materials Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Andrey A. Voevodin


A high-throughput combinatorial approach for exploratory materials research was developed and applied to thermoelectric materials with complex compositions and crystal structures. This approach allows rapid correlation between the composition, structure, and properties to provide an understanding of how these factors impact thermoelectric performance. Combinatorial samples with graded compositions were successfully deposited using pulsed laser deposition for two thermoelectric materials classes, Ca₃Co₄O₉ and CoSb₃. These films were subsequently analyzed using high-throughput analytical tools developed as part of this work. These measurements were supplemented with theoretical models, such as the single parabolic band theory, to provide further explanation as to the sources of variation in the composition-structure-property relationships. Several aspects of these complex relationships, such as the non-parabolic band structure of CoSb₃ and the formation of secondary phases in Ca₃Co₄O₉ films, were identified and correlated to observed stoichiometric and thermoelectric property variations using this developed combinatorial method. This work represents a multifaceted approach to combinatorial analysis, which can be extended to other material systems and applications. Further enhancements to the material fabrication process, measurement techniques, or models used for analysis can easily be incorporated into the presented combinatorial framework.


Pulsed laser deposition, Thermoelectric materials Testing, Combinatorial analysis, Thin films, Materials Science, Engineering, Alternative Energy, Combinatorial, thermoelectric, thin film, pulsed laser deposition

Rights Statement

Copyright 2016, author