Revealing the Intrinsic Electronic Structure of 3D Half-Heusler Thermoelectric Materials by Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy

Chenguang Fu*, Mengyu Yao, Xi Chen, Lucky Zaehir Maulana, Xin Li, Jiong Yang, Kazuki Imasato, Fengfeng Zhu, Guowei Li, Gudrun Auffermann, Ulrich Burkhardt, Walter Schnelle, Jianshi Zhou, Tiejun Zhu, Xinbing Zhao, Ming Shi, Martin Dressel, Artem V. Pronin, G. Jeffrey Snyder, Claudia Felser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Accurate determination of the intrinsic electronic structure of thermoelectric materials is a prerequisite for utilizing an electronic band engineering strategy to improve their thermoelectric performance. Herein, with high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), the intrinsic electronic structure of the 3D half-Heusler thermoelectric material ZrNiSn is revealed. An unexpectedly large intrinsic bandgap is directly observed by ARPES and is further confirmed by electrical and optical measurements and first-principles calculations. Moreover, a large anisotropic conduction band with an anisotropic factor of 6 is identified by ARPES and attributed to be one of the most important reasons leading to the high thermoelectric performance of ZrNiSn. These successful findings rely on the grown high-quality single crystals, which have fewer Ni interstitial defects and negligible in-gap states on the electronic structure. This work demonstrates a realistic paradigm to investigate the electronic structure of 3D solid materials by using ARPES and provides new insights into the intrinsic electronic structure of the half-Heusler system benefiting further optimization of thermoelectric performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1902409
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • bandgap
  • electronic structure
  • half-Heusler compounds
  • thermoelectric properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Revealing the Intrinsic Electronic Structure of 3D Half-Heusler Thermoelectric Materials by Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this