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Title: The importance of the Mg–Mg interaction in Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 shown through cation site alloying
Herein we study the effect alloying Yb onto the octahedral cite of Te doped Mg 3 Sb 1.5 Bi 0.5 has on transport and the material's high temperature stability. We show that the reduction in mobility can be well explained with an alloy scattering argument due to disrupting the Mg octahedral –Mg tetrahedral interaction that is important for placing the conduction band minimum at a location with high valley degeneracy. We note this interaction likely dominates the conducting states across n-type Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 solid solutions and explains why alloying on the anion site with Bi isn't detrimental to Mg 3 Sb 2 's mobility. In addition to disrupting this Mg–Mg interaction, we find that alloying Yb into the Mg 3 Sb 2 structure reduces its n-type dopability, likely originating from a change in the octahedral site's vacancy formation energy. We conclude showing that while the material's figure of merit is reduced with the addition of Yb alloying, its high temperature stability is greatly improved. This study demonstrates a site-specific alloying effect that will be important in other complex thermoelectric semiconductors such as Zintl phases.
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Journal of Materials Chemistry A
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2033 to 2038
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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