Nanoscale inclusions in the phonon glass thermoelectric material Zn 4Sb3

Prytz, A. E. Gunnæs, O. B. Karlsen, T. H. Breivik, E. S. Toberer, G. Jeffrey Snyder, J. Taftø

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We have investigated the thermoelectric material Zn4Sb 3 using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Nanoscale inclusions with a diameter of about 10 nm were observed, constituting on the order of 1% by volume of the material. Studies using energy filtered imaging, electron diffraction, and high-angle annular dark-field STEM indicate that the inclusions consist of Zn. These inclusions are expected to scatter the medium and long-wavelength phonons effectively, thus contributing to phonon glass behavior which results in the exceptionally low thermal conductivity for this thermoelectric material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Magazine Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Nanoparticles
  • Phonon glass
  • TEM
  • Thermoelectric material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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