Microstructure and composition engineering Yb single-filled CoSb3 for high thermoelectric and mechanical performances

Zhenxing Zhou, Matthias T. Agne, Qihao Zhang, Shun Wan, Qingfeng Song, Qing Xu, Xiaofang Lu, Shijia Gu, Yuchi Fan, Wan Jiang, Gerald Jeffrey Snyder, Lianjun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A broad tunability of the thermoelectric and mechanical properties of CoSb3 has been demonstrated by adjusting the composition with the addition of an increasing number of elements. However, such a strategy may negatively impact processing repeatability and composition control. In this work, single-element-filled skutterudite is engineered to have high thermoelectric and mechanical performances. Increased Yb filling fraction is found to increase phonon scattering, whereas cryogenic grinding contributes additional microstructural scattering. A peak zT of 1.55 and an average zT of about 1.09, which is comparable to the reported results of multiple-filled SKDs, are realized by the combination of simple composition and microstructure engineering. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of Yb single-filled CoSb3 skutterudite are improved by manipulation of the microstructure through cryogenic grinding. These findings highlight the realistic prospect of producing high-performance thermoelectric materials with reduced compositional complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-710
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materiomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Compositional complexity
  • Cryogenic grinding
  • Microstructure engineering
  • Skutterudites
  • Thermoelectric material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys


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