NbFeSb-based p-type half-Heuslers for power generation applications
We report a peak dimensionless figure-of-merit (ZT) of ∼1 at 700 °C in a nanostructured p-type Nb0.6Ti0.4FeSb0.95Sn0.05 composition. Even though the power factor of the Nb0.6Ti0.4FeSb0.95Sn0.05 composition is improved by 25%, in comparison to the previously reported p-type Hf0.44Zr0.44Ti0.12CoSb0.8Sn0.2, the ZT value is not increased due to a higher thermal conductivity. However, the higher power factor of the Nb0.6Ti0.4FeSb0.95Sn0.05 composition led to a 15% increase in the power output of a thermoelectric device in comparison to a device made from the previous best material Hf0.44Zr0.44Ti0.12CoSb0.8Sn0.2. The n-type material used to make the unicouple device is the best reported nanostructured Hf0.25Zr0.75NiSn0.99Sb0.01 composition with the lowest hafnium (Hf) content. Both the p- and n-type nanostructured samples are prepared by ball milling the arc melted ingot and hot pressing the finely ground powders. Moreover, the raw material cost of the Nb0.6Ti0.4FeSb0.95Sn0.05 composition is more than six times lower compared to the cost of the previous best p-type Hf0.44Zr0.44Ti0.12CoSb0.8Sn0.2. This cost reduction is crucial for these materials to be used in large-scale quantities for vehicle and industrial waste heat recovery applications.