High-resolution nanostructural investigation of Zn_4Sb_3 alloys
Zinc antimonides exhibit high thermoelectric figures of merit and bear great potential for power generation. To advance the understanding of the structure–property relationship in these alloys, the microstructure of a nanocrystalline Zn_4Sb_3 alloy, containing 57.29 at.% Zn, was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. Chemical inhomogeneities were observed at grain boundaries. Within the grains the distribution of Zn shows large fluctuations inducing a complex microstructure made of Zn-rich and Sb-rich regions at a nanometer scale.