Thermoelectric properties of a novel β-Zn4Sb3-based solid solution

V.L. Kuznetsov, D.M. Rowe

Division of Electronic Engineering, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF2 3TF, UK

Much attention has been focused recently on thermoelectric properties of β-Zn4Sb3 due to its low thermal conductivity and exceptionally high figure of merit values at elevated temperatures. In this report the preparation, characterisation and transport properties of a novel β-Zn4Sb3-based solid solution is presented. Both polycrystalline and single crystalline samples have been prepared and characterised by X-ray powder diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. The temperature dependence of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity have been measured over the temperature range 300650 K. The solid solution demonstrates a further reduction in the lattice thermal conductivity in comparison to that of binary β-Zn4Sb3. It is shown that variation of synthesis conditions allows manipulation of electrical transport properties of both pure β-Zn4Sb3 and its solid solution. The effect of solid solution composition on transport properties is investigated. The potential for thermoelectric applications of these materials is discussed.