Designing and Discovering a New Family of Semiconducting Quaternary Heusler Compounds Based on the 18-Electron Rule

Jiangang He, S. Shahab Naghavi, Vinay I. Hegde, Maximilian Amsler, Chris Wolverton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intermetallic compounds with sizable band gaps are attractive for their unusual properties but rare. Here, we present a new family of stable semiconducting quaternary Heusler compounds, designed based on the 18-electron rule and discovered by means of high-throughput ab initio calculations based on the 18-electron rule. The 99 new semiconductors reported here adopt the ordered quaternary Heusler structure with the prototype of LiMgSnPd (F4 3m, No. 216) and contain 18 valence electrons per formula unit. They are realized by filling the void in the half Heusler structure with a small and electropositive atom, i.e., lithium. These new stable quaternary Heusler semiconductors possess band gaps in the range of 0.3 to 2.5 eV, and exhibit some unusual properties different from conventional semiconductors, such as strong optical absorption, giant dielectric screening, and high Seebeck coefficient, which suggest these semiconductors have potential applications as photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials. While this study opens up avenues for further exploration of this novel class of semiconducting quaternary Heuslers, the design strategy used herein is broadly applicable across a potentially wide array of chemistries to discover new stable materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4978-4985
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume30
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

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