Effect of disorder on the thermal transport and elastic properties in thermoelectric Zn4 Sb3

S. Bhattacharya*, R. P. Hermann, V. Keppens, T. M. Tritt, G. J. Snyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Zn4 Sb3 undergoes a phase transition from α to β phase at T1 ≈250 K. The high temperature β- Zn4 Sb3 phase has been widely investigated as a potential state-of-the-art thermoelectric (TE) material, due to its remarkably low thermal conductivity. We have performed electronic and thermal transport measurements exploring the structural phase transition at 250 K. The α to β phase transition manifests itself by anomalies in the resistivity, thermopower, and specific heat at 250 K as well as by a reduction in the thermal conductivity as Zn4 Sb3 changes phase from the ordered α to the disordered β -phase. Moreover, measurements of the elastic constants using resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) reveal a dramatic softening at the order-disorder transition upon warming. These measurements provide further evidence that the remarkable thermoelectric properties of β- Zn4 Sb3 are tied to the disorder in the crystal structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134108
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume74
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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