Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences


Tchavdar Todorov

Queen’s University Belfast (IE)

Recent publications
1.  Troncoso J.F., Chudziński P., Todorov T.N., Aguado-Puente P., Grüning M., Kohanoff J.J., Thermal conductivity of porous polycrystalline PbTe, PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, ISSN: 2475-9953, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.014604, Vol.5, pp.014604-1-14, 2021

PbTe is a leading thermoelectric material at intermediate temperatures, largely thanks to its low lattice thermal conductivity. However, its efficiency is too low to compete with other forms of power generation. This efficiency can be effectively enhanced by designing nanostructures capable of scattering phonons over a wide range of length scales to reduce the lattice thermal conductivity. The presence of grain boundaries can reduce the thermal conductivity to ∼0.5 W m −1 K−1 for small acancy concentrations and grain sizes. However, grains anneal at finite temperature, and equilibrium and metastable grain size distributions determine the extent of the reduction in thermal conductivity. In the present work, we propose a phase-field model informed by molecular dynamics simulations to study the annealing process in PbTe and how it is affected by the presence of grain boundaries and voids. We find that the thermal conductivity of PbTe is reduced by up to 35% in the porous material at low temperatures. We observe that a phase transition at a finite density of voids governs the kinetics of impeding grain growth by Zener pinning.

Troncoso J.F. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Chudziński P. - IPPT PAN
Todorov T.N. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Aguado-Puente P. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Grüning M. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Kohanoff J.J. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
2.  Querales-Flores J.D., Aquado-Puente P., Dangić Đ., Cao J., Chudziński P., Todorov T.N., Grüning M., Fahy S., Savić I., Towards temperature-induced topological phase transition in SnTe: a first-principles study, Physical Review B, ISSN: 2469-9969, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.101.235206, Vol.101, pp.235206-1-10, 2020

The temperature renormalization of the bulk band structure of a topological crystalline insulator, SnTe, is calculated using first-principles methods. We explicitly include the effect of thermal-expansion-induced modification of electronic states and their band inversion on electron-phonon interaction.We show that the direct gap decreases with temperature, as both thermal expansion and electron-phonon interaction drive SnTe towards the phase transition to a topologically trivial phase as temperature increases. The band gap renormalization due to electron-phonon interaction exhibits a nonlinear dependence on temperature as the material approaches the phase transition, while the lifetimes of the conduction band states near the band edge show a nonmonotonic behawior with temperature. These effects should have important implications on bulk electronic and thermoelectric transport in SnTe and other topological insulators.

Querales-Flores J.D. - other affiliation
Aquado-Puente P. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Dangić Đ. - other affiliation
Cao J. - other affiliation
Chudziński P. - IPPT PAN
Todorov T.N. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Grüning M. - Queen’s University Belfast (IE)
Fahy S. - other affiliation
Savić I. - other affiliation

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