Ceramics of LaxSr1-xNbyTi 1-yO3 (LSNT) were synthesized under various reducing atmospheres. Covering the specimens with graphite carbon felt under an Ar-gas flow during sintering drastically enhanced the electrical conductivity, σ. Ti K-edge absorption spectra indicated the presence of Ti3+ for heavily reduced specimens. The increase in conductivity was attributed to the 3d band of Ti3+. The maximum value for the figure of merit, ZT, was obtained for strontium titanate ceramics modified with both 5 mol% La and 5 mol% Nb, namely 5/5-LSNT, exhibiting a ZT value of ~0.221 at 473 K. This high ZT value was almost 1.5 × larger than that of the conventional 10 mol% La-doped sample, 10/0-LSNT (ZT~0.144), and was mainly attributed to the larger Seebeck coefficient of the material.
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