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Published February 15, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Reduction of lattice thermal conductivity from planar faults in the layered Zintl compound SrZnSb_2


The layered Zintl compound SrZnSb_2 is investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to understand the low lattice thermal conductivity. The material displays out-of-phase boundaries with a spacing from 100 down to 2 nm. Density functional theory calculations confirm that the TEM-derived defect structure is energetically reasonable. The impact of these defects on phonon scattering is analyzed within the Debye–Callaway model, which reveals a significant reduction in the acoustic phonon mean free path. This enhancement in phonon scattering leads to an ~30% reduction in lattice thermal conductivity at 300 K.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Received 10 October 2010; accepted 24 December 2010; published online 24 February 2011. The authors would like to thank A. F. May of Caltech for synthesis and discussions, and A. Olsen of the University of Oslo for discussions.

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Published - Prytz2011p13118J_Appl_Phys.pdf


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