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Traversing the metal-insulator transition in a zintl phase: Rational enhancement of thermoelectric efficiency in Yb_(14)Mn_(1-x)Al_xSb_(11)

Toberer, Eric S. and Cox, Catherine A. and Brown, Shawna R. and Ikeda, Teruyuki and May, Andrew F. and Kauzlarich, Susan M. and Snyder, G. Jeffrey (2008) Traversing the metal-insulator transition in a zintl phase: Rational enhancement of thermoelectric efficiency in Yb_(14)Mn_(1-x)Al_xSb_(11). Advanced Functional Materials, 18 (18). pp. 2795-2800. ISSN 1616-301X.

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For high temperature thermoelectric applications, Yb_(14)MnSb_(11) has a maximum thermoelectric figure of merit (zT) of ~1.0 at 1273 K. Such a high zT is found despite a carrier concentration that is higher than typical thermoelectric materials. Here, we reduce the carrier concentration with the discovery of a continuous transition between metallic Yb_(14)MnSb_(11) and semiconducting Yb_(14)AlSb_(11). Yb_(14)Mn_(1-x)Al_xSb_(11) forms a solid solution where the free carrier concentration gradually changes as expected from the Zintl valence formalism. Throughout this transition the electronic properties are found to obey a rigid band model with a band gap of 0.5 eV and an effective mass of 3 m_e. As the carrier concentration decreases, an increase in the Seebeck coefficient is observed at the expense of an increased electrical resistivity. At the optimum carrier concentration, a maximum zT of 1.3 at 1223K is obtained, which is more than twice that of the state-of-the-art Si_(0.8)Ge_(0.2) flown by NASA.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ikeda, Teruyuki0000-0001-7076-6958
May, Andrew F.0000-0003-0777-8539
Snyder, G. Jeffrey0000-0003-1414-8682
Additional Information:© 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Received: 29 February 2008; Revised: 4 April 2008. Published online: September 1, 2008 This research was funded by NSF DMR-0600742, the Beckman Fellowship program, and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. CAC acknowledges funding from NSF funded Bridge to Doctorate fellowship. Portions of this work were carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Beckman FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:conductivity; solid solutions; semiconductors
Issue or Number:18
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:TOBafm08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13382
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 May 2009 21:44
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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