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.
The effect of Mg 3 As 2 alloying on the thermoelectric properties of n-type Mg 3 (Sb, Bi) 2
Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 alloys have been heavily studied as a competitive alternative to the state-of-the-art n-type Bi 2 (Te,Se) 3 thermoelectric alloys. Using Mg 3 As 2 alloying, we examine another dimension of exploration in Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 alloys and the possibility of further improvement of thermoelectric performance was investigated. While the crystal structure of pure Mg 3 As 2 is different from Mg 3 Sb 2 and Mg 3 Bi 2 , at least 15% arsenic solubility on the anion site (Mg 3 ((Sb 0.5 Bi 0.5 ) 1−x As x ) 2 : x = 0.15) was confirmed. Density functional theory calculations showed the possibility of band convergence by alloying Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi 2 with Mg 3 As 2 . Because of only a small detrimental effect on the charge carrier mobility compared to cation site substitution, the As 5% alloyed sample showed zT = 0.6–1.0 from 350 K to 600 K. This study shows that there is an even larger composition space to examine for the optimization of material properties by considering arsenic introduction into the Mg 3 Sb 2 –Mg 3 Bi more »
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Dalton Transactions
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Novel insights into lattice thermal transport in nanocrystalline Mg 3 Sb 2 from first principles: the crucial role of higher-order phonon scatteringZintl phase Mg 3 Sb 2 , which has ultra-low thermal conductivity, is a promising anisotropic thermoelectric material. It is worth noting that the prediction and experiment value of lattice thermal conductivity ( κ ) maintain a remarkable difference, troubling the development and application. Thus, we firstly included the four-phonon scattering processes effect and performed the Peierls–Boltzmann transport equation (PBTE) combined with the first-principles lattice dynamics to study the lattice thermal transport in Mg 3 Sb 2 . The results showed that our theoretically predicted κ is consistent with the experimentally measured, breaking through the limitations of the traditional calculation methods. The prominent four-phonon scatterings decreased phonon lifetime, leading to the κ of Mg 3 Sb 2 at 300 K from 2.45 (2.58) W m −1 K −1 to 1.94 (2.19) W m −1 K −1 along the in (cross)-plane directions, respectively, and calculation accuracy increased by 20%. This study successfully explains the lattice thermal transport behind mechanism in Mg 3 Sb 2 and implies guidance to advance the prediction accuracy of thermoelectric materials.
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 »
A M 2 X 2 compounds that crystallize in the CaAl 2 Si 2 structure type have emerged as a promising class of n- and p-type thermoelectric materials. Alloying on the cation (A) site is a frequently used approach to optimize the thermoelectric transport properties of A M 2 X 2 compounds, and complete solid solubility has been reported for many combinations of cations. In the present study, we investigate the phase stability of the AMg 2 Sb 2 system with mixed occupancy of Mg, Ca, Sr, or Ba on the cation (A) site. We show that the small ionic radius of Mg 2 + leads to limited solubility when alloyed with larger cations such as Sr or Ba. Phase separation observed in such cases indicates a eutectic-like phase diagram. By combining these results with prior alloying studies, we establish an upper limit for cation radius mismatch in A M 2 X 2 alloys to provide general guidance for future alloying and doping studies.
Zintl Phase Compounds Mg3Sb2−xBix (x = 0, 1, and 2) Monolayers: Electronic, Phonon and Thermoelectric Properties From ab Initio CalculationsThe Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x family has emerged as the potential candidates for thermoelectric applications due to their ultra-low lattice thermal conductivity ( κ L ) at room temperature (RT) and structural complexity. Here, using ab initio calculations of the electron-phonon averaged (EPA) approximation coupled with Boltzmann transport equation (BTE), we have studied electronic, phonon and thermoelectric properties of Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x (x = 0, 1, and 2) monolayers. In violation of common mass-trend expectations, increasing Bi element content with heavier Zintl phase compounds yields an abnormal change in κ L in two-dimensional Mg 3 Sb 2− x Bi x crystals at RT (∼0.51, 1.86, and 0.25 W/mK for Mg 3 Sb 2 , Mg 3 SbBi, and Mg 3 Bi 2 ). The κ L trend was detailedly analyzed via the phonon heat capacity, group velocity and lifetime parameters. Based on quantitative electronic band structures, the electronic bonding through the crystal orbital Hamilton population (COHP) and electron local function analysis we reveal the underlying mechanism for the semiconductor-semimetallic transition of Mg 3 Sb 2-− x Bi x compounds, and these electronic transport properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and electronic thermal conductivity) were calculated.more »