Thermoelectric properties and low thermal conductivity of Zintl compound Yb10MnSb9

Leah Borgsmiller, G. Jeffrey Snyder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recently discovered Zintl compound Yb10MnSb9 is a thermoelectric material very close in compositional space to high performing thermoelectric materials such as Yb14MnSb11 and Yb21Mn4Sb18. Here we measure and report electronic and thermal transport data for Yb10MnSb9 up to 825 K. Due to the complicated crystal structure, this material has ultralow thermal conductivity. The ultralow lattice thermal conductivity in conjunction with a higher Seebeck coefficient than in other Yb-Mn-Sb compounds, leads to a moderate zT of about 0.34 at 825 K and is likely to peak at a higher value via material optimization. We approximate a bandgap of about 0.4 eV and expect the zT to be able to reach values as high as 0.33 at 725 K (which is comparable to Yb14MnSb11 at that temperature) using a thermoelectric quality factor analysis. This zT has the potential to reach even higher values by improving the quality factor, B, through grain boundary engineering. Here we provide suggestions for future studies to improve thermoelectric performance. This work is the first report of thermal conductivity, bandgap, and zT for this Yb10MnSb9 compound, and we discuss implications of this material for future thermoelectric study through comparisons to the leading Yb14MnSb11 material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15127-15135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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