A study of the local atomic structure of the promising thermoelectric material β- Zn4 Sb3, using atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of x-ray- and neutron-diffraction data, suggests that the material is nanostructured. The local structure of the β phase closely resembles that of the low-temperature α phase. The α structure contains ordered zinc interstitial atoms which are not long range ordered in the β phase. A rough estimate of the domain size from a visual inspection of the PDF is 10 nm. It is probable that the nanoscale domains found in this study play an important role in the exceptionally low thermal conductivity of β- Zn4 Sb3.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Apr 18 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics