Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of p -Type Mg 3- x Zn x Sb 2 /Sb Composites: The Role of ZnSb/Sb Composites.

ACS applied materials & interfaces(2023)

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MgSb-based Zintl compounds have garnered recent attention as promising materials for thermoelectric applications due to their low thermal conductivity and high values as n-type materials. However, the values of -type materials are lower compared to their -type counterparts. Through a straightforward process involving cold pressing and evacuating-and-encapsulating sintering, we have successfully synthesized a variety of -type MgZnSb/Sb composites by adding the ZnSb-4%Sb composite into the MgSb host material. Structural analyses have provided insights into the role of the ZnSb-4%Sb composite, demonstrating its significance in Zn doping on the Mg sites and Sb acting as an additive in the composite. The introduction of Zn on the Mg tetrahedral sites enhances the concentration of carriers, while the presence of highly conductive Sb grains facilitates the movement of charge carriers between adjacent MgZnSb grains, thereby promoting mobility. Consequently, the electrical resistivity of the MgZnSb/Sb composites decreases as the Zn content increases. At 710 K, the MgZnSb/Sb composite exhibits the lowest resistivity, measuring 5.1 mΩ-cm, which is 46 times lower than that of the MgSb host. Furthermore, the value of the MgZnSb/Sb composites increases with higher Zn content (), benefiting from a combination of an improved power factor and reduced thermal conductivity. Significantly, our straightforward fabrication process enables us to achieve a maximum value of 0.58 at 710 K for the MgZnSb/Sb composite. This achievement can primarily be attributed to the 8-fold enhancement in power factor compared to the MgSb host.
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