skip to main content

Title: Experimental Realization of Heavily p-doped Half-Heusler CoVSn Compound
Hypothetical half-Heusler (HH) ternary alloy of CoVSn has already been computationally investigated for possible spintronics and thermoelectric applications. We report the experimental realization of this compound and the characterizations of its thermoelectric properties. The material was synthesized by a solid-state reaction of the stoichiometric amounts of the elements via powder metallurgy (30 h mechanical milling and annealing at 900 °C for 20 h) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). The temperature-dependent ternary thermodynamic phase diagram of Co-V-Sn was further calculated. The phase diagram and detailed analysis of the synthesized material revealed the formation of the non-stoichiometry HH CoVSn, mixed with the binary intermetallic phases of SnV3, Co2Sn, and Co3V. The combination of X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and thermoelectric transport properties confirmed the formation of a multi-phase compound. The analysis revealed the predicted thermoelectric features (zT = 0.53) of the highly doped CoVSn to be compromised by the formation of intermetallic phases (zT ≈ 0.007) during synthesis. The additional phases changed the properties from p- to overall n-type thermoelectric characteristics.
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Copper-antimony-sulfide compounds have desirable earth-abundant compositions for application in renewable energy technologies, such as solar energy and waste heat recycling. These compounds can be synthesized by bottom-up, solution-phase techniques that are more energy and time efficient than conventional solid-state methods. Solution-phase methods typically produce nanostructured materials, which adds another dimension to control optical, electrical, and thermal material properties. This study focuses on a modified-polyol, solution-phase synthesis for tetrahedrite (Cu 12 Sb 4 S 13 ), a promising thermoelectric material with potential also for photovoltaic applications. To dope the tetrahedrite and tune material properties, the utility of the modified polyol synthetic approach has been demonstrated as a strategy to produce phase-pure tetrahedrite that incorporates transition metal (Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Ag) dopants for Cu, Te dopant for Sb, and Se for S. Six of these reported tetrahedrite compounds have not previously been made by solution-phase methods. For the bottom-up formation of the tetrahedrite nanomaterials, the evolution of the chemical phases has been determined by an investigation of the reaction progress as a function of temperature and time. Digenite (Cu 1.8 S), covellite (CuS), and famatinite (Cu 3 SbS 4 ) are identified as key intermediates and are consistently observed for bothmore »undoped and doped tetrahedrites. The effect of nanostructuring and doping tetrahedrite on thermal properties has been investigated. It was found that nanostructured undoped tetrahedrite has reduced thermal stability relative to samples made by solid-state methods, while the addition of dopants for Cu increased the thermal stability of the material. Crystallinity, composition, and nanostructure of products and intermediates were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Thermal properties were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and thermal gravimetric analysis. This synthetic study with thermal property analysis demonstrates the potential of the modified polyol method to produce tetrahedrite and other copper-antimony-sulfide compounds for thermoelectric and photovoltaic applications.« less
  2. Both electronic and ionic conductivities are of high importance to the performance of anode materials for Li-ion batteries. Many large capacity anode materials (such as Ge) do not have sufficiently high electronic and ionic conductivities required for high-rate cycling. Here, we report a novel ternary compound, copper germanium phosphide (CuGe 2 P 3 ), as a high-rate anode. Being synthesized via a facile and scalable mechanochemistry method, CuGe 2 P 3 has a cation-disordered sphalerite structure and offers higher ionic and electronic conductivities and better tolerance to volume change during cycling than Ge, as confirmed by first principles calculations and experimental characterization, including high-resolution synchrotron X-ray diffraction, HRTEM, SAED, XPS and Raman spectroscopy. Furthermore, the results suggest that CuGe 2 P 3 has a reversible Li-storage mechanism of conversion reaction. When composited with graphite by virtue of a two-stage ball-milling process, the yolk–shell structure of the amorphous carbon-coated CuGe 2 P 3 nanocomposite (CuGe 2 P 3 /C@Graphene) delivers a high initial coulombic efficiency (91%), a superior cycling stability (1312 mA h g −1 capacity after 600 cycles at 0.2 A g −1 and 876 mA h g −1 capacity after 1600 cycles at 2 A g −1 ), andmore »an excellent rate capability (386 mA h g −1 capacity at 30 A g −1 ), surpassing most Ge-based anodes reported to date. Moreover, a series of cation-disordered new phases in the Cu(Zn)–Ge–P family with various cation ratios offer similar Li-storage properties, achieving high reversible capacities with high initial coulombic efficiencies and desirable redox chemistry with improved safety.« less
  3. The Zintl compound Eu 2 ZnSb 2 was recently shown to have a promising thermoelectric figure of merit, zT ∼ 1 at 823 K, due to its low lattice thermal conductivity and high electronic mobility. In the current study, we show that further increases to the electronic mobility and simultaneous reductions to the lattice thermal conductivity can be achieved by isovalent alloying with Bi on the Sb site in the Eu 2 ZnSb 2−x Bi x series ( x = 0, 0.25, 1, 2). Upon alloying with Bi, the effective mass decreases and the mobility linearly increases, showing no signs of reduction due to alloy scattering. Analysis of the pair distribution functions obtained from synchrotron X-ray diffraction revealed significant local structural distortions caused by the half-occupied Zn site in this structure type. It is all the more surprising, therefore, to find that Eu 2 ZnBi 2 possesses high electronic mobility (∼100 cm 2 V −1 s −1 ) comparable to that of AM 2 X 2 Zintl compounds. The enormous degree of disorder in this series gives rise to exceptionally low lattice thermal conductivity, which is further reduced by Bi substitution due to the decreased speed of sound. Increasing themore »Bi content was also found to decrease the band gap while increasing the carrier concentration by two orders of magnitude. Applying a single parabolic band model suggests that Bi-rich compositions of Eu 2 ZnSb 2−x Bi x have the potential for significantly improved zT ; however, further optimization is necessary through reduction of the carrier concentration to realize high zT .« less
  4. The diffusion behavior and phase equilibria in the Cu-Zn binary system were investigated using solid-solid and solid-liquid diffusion couples. Heat treatments at temperatures ranging from 100 to 750 °C were performed and the samples were examined using optical microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and electron probe microanalysis to identify the phases and to obtain composition profiles. Solubility limits of both solid solution and intermetallic phases were then evaluated, and a forward-simulation analysis (FSA) was applied to extract interdiffusion coefficients. The composition profiles from Hoxha et al. were also re-analyzed using FSA to obtain more reliable diffusion coefficient data without the assumption of constant diffusion coefficients for the intermetallic phases. A comprehensive assessment of the interdiffusion coefficients in three intermetallic phases of the Cu-Zn system was performed based on the results from the current study as well as those in the literature. Activation energies and Arrhenius pre-factors were evaluated for each phase as a function of composition. The fitted equations based on the comprehensive assessment have the capabilities of computing the interdiffusion coefficients of each of the phase at a given composition and temperature. Suggested modifications to the Cu-Zn binary phase diagram were presented based on the new experimental information gatheredmore »from the present study. A clear explanation is provided for the puzzling low Zn concentrations often observed in the Cu-rich fcc phase of Cu-Zn diffusion couples in comparison with the expected high solubility values based on the equilibrium Cu-Zn phase diagram.« less
  5. The ternary manganese pnictide phases, MnAs 1− x Sb x , are of interest for magnetic refrigeration and waste heat recovery due to their magnetocaloric properties, maximized at the Curie temperature ( T C ), which varies from 580–240 K, depending on composition. Nanoparticles potentially enable application in microelectronics (cooling) or graded composites that can operate over a wide temperature range, but manganese pnictides are synthetically challenging to realize as discrete nanoparticles and their fundamental magnetic properties have not been extensively studied. Accordingly, colloidal synthesis methods were employed to target discrete MnAs x Sb 1− x nanoparticles ( x = 0.1–0.9) by arrested precipitation reactions of Mn 2 (CO) 10 with (C 6 H 5 ) 3 AsO and (C 6 H 5 ) 3 Sb in coordinating solvents. The MnAs x Sb 1− x particles are spherical in morphology with average diameters 10–13 nm (standard deviations <20% based on transmission electron microscopy analysis). X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy measurements on ensembles showed that all phases had an excess of Sb relative to the targeted composition, whereas energy dispersive spectroscopic mapping data of single particles revealed that the nanoparticles are inhomogeneous, adopting a core–shell structure, with the amorphous shell rich in Mnmore »and O (and sometimes Sb) while the crystalline core is rich in Mn, As, and Sb. Magnetization measurements of the nanoparticle ensemble demonstrated the presence of both ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases. By combining the magnetization measurements with precision chemical mapping and simple modeling, we were able to unambiguously attribute ferromagnetism to the MnAs x Sb 1− x crystalline core, whereas paramagnetism was attributed to the amorphous shell. Magnetization measurements at variable temperatures were used to determine the superparamagnetic transition of the nanoparticles, although for some compositions and particle sizes the blocking temperature exceeded room temperature. Preliminary magnetic studies also revealed a conventional dependence between core size and coercivity, in spite of variable compositions of the nanoparticles, an unexpected result.« less