Solubility design leading to high figure of merit in low-cost Ce-CoSb3 skutterudites

Yinglu Tang, Riley Hanus, Sinn Wen Chen, G. Jeffrey Snyder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


CoSb3-based filled skutterudite has emerged as one of the most viable candidates for thermoelectric applications in automotive industry. However, the scale-up commercialization of such materials is still a challenge due to the scarcity and cost of constituent elements. Here we study Ce, the most earth abundant and low-cost rare earth element as a single-filling element and demonstrate that, by solubility design using a phase diagram approach, the filling fraction limit (FFL) x in CexCo4Sb12 can be increased more than twice the amount reported previously (x = 0.09). This ultra-high FFL (x = 0.20) enables the optimization of carrier concentration such that no additional filling elements are needed to produce a state of the art n-type skutterudite material with a zT value of 1.3 at 850 K before nano-structuring. The earth abundance and low cost of Ce would potentially facilitate a widespread application of skutterudites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7584
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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