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Nanoscale alpha-structural domains in the phonon-glass thermoelectric material beta-Zn4Sb3

Kim, H. J. and Božin, E. S. and Haile, S. M. and Snyder, G. J. and Billinge, S. J. (2007) Nanoscale alpha-structural domains in the phonon-glass thermoelectric material beta-Zn4Sb3. Physical Review B, 75 (13). Art. No. 134103. ISSN 1098-0121. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.75.134103.

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A study of the local atomic structure of the promising thermoelectric material beta-Zn4Sb3, using atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of x-ray- and neutron-diffraction data, suggests that the material is nanostructured. The local structure of the beta phase closely resembles that of the low-temperature alpha phase. The alpha structure contains ordered zinc interstitial atoms which are not long range ordered in the beta phase. A rough estimate of the domain size from a visual inspection of the PDF is <~10 nm. It is probable that the nanoscale domains found in this study play an important role in the exceptionally low thermal conductivity of beta-Zn4Sb3.

Item Type:Article
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Haile, S. M.0000-0002-5293-6252
Snyder, G. J.0000-0003-1414-8682
Additional Information:©2007 The American Physical Society (Received 8 January 2007; published 18 April 2007) The authors gratefully acknowledge F. Gascoin, Th. Proffen, D. Robinson, D. Wermeille, X. Qiu, and A. Masadeh for experimental help and S. D. Mahanti for useful discussions. This work was supported by the NSF through Grant No. DMR-0304391. The Lujan Center, APS, and the MUCAT sector at APS are funded by DOE through Contract Nos. W-7405-ENG-36, W-31-109-ENG-38, and W-7405-ENG-82, respectively.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)W-7405-ENG-36
Department of Energy (DOE)W-31-109-ENG-38
Department of Energy (DOE)W-7405-ENG-82
Subject Keywords:zinc compounds; nanostructured materials; thermoelectricity; phonons; crystal structure; X-ray diffraction; neutron diffraction; interstitials; domains; thermal conductivity
Issue or Number:13
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KIMprb07a
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8563
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:20 Aug 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:51

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