Bi2Te3-xSex family has been the n-type start-of-the-art thermoelectric materials near room temperatures (RT) for more than half-century, which dominates the active cooling and novel waves harvesting application near RT. However, the drawbacks of brittle nature and Te-containing restrict the further applications exploring. Here, we show that a Mg3+{delta}SbxBi2-x family ((ZT)avg =1.05) could be a promising substitute for the Bi2Te3-xSex family ((ZT)avg =0.9-1.0) in the temperature range of 50-250 {deg}C based on the comparable thermoelectric performance through a synergistic effect from the tunable band gap using the alloy effect and the suppressible Mg-vacancy formation using interstitial Mn dopant. The former is to shift the optimal thermoelectric performance to near RT, and latter is helpful to partially decouple the electrical transport and thermal transport in order to get an optimal RT power factor. A positive temperature-dependence of band gap suggested this family is also a superior medium-temperature thermoelectric material for the significantly suppressed bipolar effect. Furthermore, a two times higher mechanical toughness, compared with Bi2Te3-xSex family, consolidates the promising substitute for the start-of-art n-type thermoelectric materials near RT.

Published in: "arXiv Material Science".