Crystal Structure and Atomic Vacancy Optimized Thermoelectric Properties in Gadolinium Selenides

Feiyu Qin, Sergey A. Nikolaev, Ady Suwardi, Maxwell Wood, Yingcai Zhu, Xianyi Tan, Umut Aydemir, Yang Ren, Qingyu Yan, Lei Hu*, G. Jeffrey Snyder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Thermoelectric materials enable the energy conversion of waste heat into electricity, helpful to relieve global energy crisis. Here, we report a systematic investigation on high-temperature thermoelectric gadolinium selenides, cubic Gd3-xSe4 (x = 0.16, 0.21, and 0.25) and orthorhombic Gd2Se3-y (y = 0.02, 0.06, and 0.08). High energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction and total scattering have been used to investigate the crystallographic and local structures. Atomic-scale clusters of Gd vacancy in the cubic phase are observed by employing the reverse Monte Carlo simulation. For cubic Gd3-xSe4, adjusting Gd vacancy triggers the effect of multiple conduction bands, confirmed by the increase in effective masses. A reasonable peak zT of 0.27 is achieved at 850 K for Gd3-xSe4 (x = 0.16). On the other hand, tuning Se vacancy enables the optimization of electron concentration for the orthorhombic Gd2Se3-y. More significantly, its low deformation potential (Z = 12 eV) gives rise to enhanced electron mobility and a higher peak zT of 0.54 at 850 K for Gd2Se3-y (y = 0.02). Intriguingly, a higher zT of 1.2 at 1200 K is reasonably predicted by quality factor analysis. This work extends the scope of high-temperature thermoelectric materials and facilitates the exploration of novel high-temperature thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10130-10139
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 8 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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