Enhancement of thermoelectric figure of merit in β -Zn4Sb3 by indium doping control

Pai Chun Wei, Chun Chuen Yang, Jeng Lung Chen, Raman Sankar, Chi Liang Chen, Chia Hao Hsu, Chung Chieh Chang, Cheng Lung Chen, Chung Li Dong, Fang Cheng Chou, Kuei Hsien Chen, Maw Kuen Wu, Yang Yuan Chen

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We demonstrate the control of phase composition in Bridgman-grown β-Zn4Sb3 crystals by indium doping, an effective way to overcome the difficulty of growing very pure β-Zn4Sb3 thermoelectric material. The crystal structures are characterized by Rietveld refinement with synchrotron X-ray diffraction data. The results show an anisotropic lattice expansion in In-doped β-Zn4Sb3 wherein the zinc atoms are partially substituted by indium ones at 36f site of R-3c symmetry. Through the elimination of ZnSb phase, all the three individual thermoelectric properties are simultaneously improved, i.e., increasing electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient while reducing thermal conductivity. Under an optimal In concentration (x = 0.05), pure phase β-Zn4Sb3 crystal can be obtained, which possesses a high figure of merit (ZT) of 1.4 at 700 K.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123902
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2015


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