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Issue 18, 2019
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Bonding heterogeneity and lone pair induced anharmonicity resulted in ultralow thermal conductivity and promising thermoelectric properties in n-type AgPbBiSe3

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Abstract

Efficiency in generation and utilization of energy is highly dependent on materials that have the ability to amplify or hinder thermal conduction processes. A comprehensive understanding of the relationship between chemical bonding and structure impacting lattice waves (phonons) is essential to furnish compounds with ultralow lattice thermal conductivity (κlat) for important applications such as thermoelectrics. Here, we demonstrate that the n-type rock-salt AgPbBiSe3 exhibits an ultra-low κlat of 0.5–0.4 W m−1 K−1 in the 290–820 K temperature range. We present detailed analysis to uncover the fundamental origin of such a low κlat. First-principles calculations augmented with low temperature heat capacity measurements and the experimentally determined synchrotron X-ray pair distribution function (PDF) reveal bonding heterogeneity within the lattice and lone pair induced lattice anharmonicity. Both of these factors enhance the phonon–phonon scattering, and are thereby responsible for the suppressed κlat. Further optimization of the thermoelectric properties was performed by aliovalent halide doping, and a thermoelectric figure of merit (zT) of 0.8 at 814 K was achieved for AgPbBiSe2.97I0.03 which is remarkable among n-type Te free thermoelectrics.

Graphical abstract: Bonding heterogeneity and lone pair induced anharmonicity resulted in ultralow thermal conductivity and promising thermoelectric properties in n-type AgPbBiSe3

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Jan 2019, accepted on 03 Apr 2019 and first published on 03 Apr 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC00485H
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 4905-4913
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Bonding heterogeneity and lone pair induced anharmonicity resulted in ultralow thermal conductivity and promising thermoelectric properties in n-type AgPbBiSe3

    M. Dutta, K. Pal, U. V. Waghmare and K. Biswas, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 4905
    DOI: 10.1039/C9SC00485H

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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