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Published March 15, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Thermoelectric properties of p-type LiZnSb: Assessment of ab initio calculations


In response to theoretical calculations on the thermoelectric performance of LiZnSb, we report the pertinent transport properties between room temperature and 523 K. Nominal LiZnSb samples are found to be p-type, with a carrier concentration in the range (4–7)×10^(20) cm^(−3). The thermoelectric figure of merit (zT) is found to be 0.02–0.08 at 523 K. Analysis of material transport parameters and previously reported ab initio calculations demonstrates that even with optimal doping, p-type LiZnSb is unlikely to achieve zT>0.2 at 523 K. The accuracy of the high zT estimate (zT>2) for n-type compositions from ab initio calculations is discussed within the current synthetic limits.

Additional Information

©2009 American Institute of Physics. Received 25 November 2008; accepted 27 January 2009; published 17 March 2009. We thank the DARPA-Nano Materials Program (No. W911NF-08-C-0058) for funding. EST thanks the Beckman Foundation and CJS thanks the Center for Environmental Studies at Harvey Mudd College for support.

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