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The impact of site selectivity and disorder on the thermoelectric properties of Yb 21 Mn 4 Sb 18 solid solutions: Yb 21 Mn 4−x Cd x Sb 18 and Yb 21−y Ca y Mn 4 Sb 18Thermoelectric materials can convert heat into electricity. They are used to generate electricity when other power sources are not available or to increase energy efficiency by recycling waste heat. The Yb 21 Mn 4 Sb 18 phase was previously shown to have good thermoelectric performance due to its large Seebeck coefficient (∼290 μV K −1 ) and low thermal conductivity (0.4 W m −1 K −1 ). These characteristics stem respectively from the unique [Mn 4 Sb 10 ] 22− subunit and the large unit cell/site disorder inherent in this phase. The solid solutions, Yb 21 Mn 4− x Cd x Sb 18 ( x = 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5) and Yb 21− y Ca y Mn 4 Sb 18 ( y = 3, 6, 9, 10.5) have been prepared, their structures characterized and thermoelectric properties from room temperature to 800 K measured. A detailed look into the structural disorder for the Cd and Ca solid solutions was performed using synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function methods and shows that these are highly disordered structures. The substitution of Cd gives rise to more metallic behavior whereas Ca substitution results in high resistivity. As both Cd and Ca aremore »
Crystal structure characterization and electronic structure of a rare-earth-containing Zintl phase in the Yb–Al–Sb family: Yb 3 AlSb 3A rare-earth-containing compound, ytterbium aluminium antimonide, Yb 3 AlSb 3 (Ca 3 AlAs 3 -type structure), has been successfully synthesized within the Yb–Al–Sb system through flux methods. According to the Zintl formalism, this structure is nominally made up of (Yb 2+ ) 3 [(Al 1− )( 1b – Sb 2− ) 2 ( 2b – Sb 1− )], where 1b and 2b indicate 1-bonded and 2-bonded, respectively, and Al is treated as part of the covalent anionic network. The crystal structure features infinite corner-sharing AlSb 4 tetrahedra, [AlSb 2 Sb 2/2 ] 6− , with Yb 2+ cations residing between the tetrahedra to provide charge balance. Herein, the synthetic conditions, the crystal structure determined from single-crystal X-ray diffraction data, and electronic structure calculations are reported.