High Thermopower and Low Thermal Conductivity in Semiconducting Ternary K-Bi-Se Compounds. Synthesis and Properties of β-K2Bi8Se13 and K2.5Bi8.5Se14 and Their Sb Analogues

Duck Young Chung, Kyoung Shin Choi, Lykourgos Iordanidis, Jon L. Schindler, Paul W. Brazis, Carl R. Kannewurf, Baoxing Chen, Siqing Hu, Ctirad Uher, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


β-K2Bi8Se13 (I), K2Sb8Se13 (II), K2.5Bi8.5Se14 (III), and K2.5Sb8.5Se14 (IV) were synthesized by a molten flux method. The black needles of compound I were formed at 600 °C and crystallized in the monoclinic P21/m space group (No. 11) with a -17.492(3) Å, b = 4.205(1) Å, c= 18.461(4) Å, β= 90.49(2)°. The final R/Rw = 6.7/5.7%. Compound II is isostructural to I. Both I and II are isostructural with K2Bi8S13 which is composed of NaCl-, Bi2Te3-, and CdI2-type units connecting to form K+-filled channels. The thin black needles of III and IV obtained at 530 °C crystallize in the same space group P21/m with a -17.534(4) Å, b = 4.206(1) Å, c = 21.387(5) Å, β= 109.65(2)° and a = 17.265(3) Å, b = 4.0801(9) Å, c = 21.280(3) Å, β = 109.31(1)°, respectively. The final R/Rw = 6.3/8.3% and 5.1/3.6%-. Compounds III and IV are isostructural and potassium and bismuth/antimony atoms are disordered over two crystallographic sites. The structure type is very closely related to that of I. Electrical conductivity and thermopower measurements show semiconductor behavior with ∼250 S/cm and ∼-200 μV/K for a single crystal of I and ∼150 S/cm and ∼-100 μV/K for a polycrystalline ingot of III at room temperature. The effect of vaccum annealing on these compounds is explored. The optical bandgaps of all compounds were determined to be 0.59, 0.78, 0.56, and 0.82 eV, respectively. The thermal conductivities of melt-grown polycrystalline ingots of I and III are reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3060-3071
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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