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Issue 21, 2007
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Zintl phases for thermoelectric devices

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By converting waste heat into electricity and improving the efficiency of refrigeration systems, thermoelectric devices could play a significant role in solving today's energy problems. Increasing the thermoelectric efficiency (as measured by the thermoelectric material's figure-of-merit, zT) is critical to the development of this technology. Complex Zintl phases, in particular, make ideal candidates for thermoelectric materials because the necessary “electron–crystal, phonon–glass” properties can be engineered with an understanding of the Zintl chemistry. A recent example is the discovery that Yb14MnSb11, a transition metal Zintl compound, has twice the zT as the material currently in use at NASA. This perspective outlines a strategy to discover new high zT materials in Zintl phases, and presents results pointing towards the success of this approach.

Graphical abstract: Zintl phases for thermoelectric devices

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The article was received on 13 Feb 2007, accepted on 11 Apr 2007 and first published on 24 Apr 2007

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B702266B
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2007,0, 2099-2107

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    Zintl phases for thermoelectric devices

    S. M. Kauzlarich, S. R. Brown and G. Jeffrey Snyder, Dalton Trans., 2007, 0, 2099
    DOI: 10.1039/B702266B

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