High figure of merit in partially filled ytterbium skutterudite materials

Nolas, G. S.; Nolas, G.S.; Kaeser, M.; Littleton, R. T.; Littleton IV, R.T.; Tritt, T. M.; Tritt, T.M.
September 2000
Applied Physics Letters;9/18/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 12
Academic Journal
We present evidence of a relatively high dimensionless figure of merit (ZT) in a polycrystalline skutterudite partially filled with ytterbium ions. The small-diameter yet heavy-mass Yb atoms partially filling the voids of the host CoSb[sub 3] system exhibit low values of thermal conductivity while the quite favorable electronic properties are not substantially perturbed by the addition of Yb. This combination is ideal for thermoelectric applications exemplifying the "phonon-glass electron-crystal" concept of a thermoelectric material, resulting in ZT=0.3 at room temperature and ZT∼1 at 600 K for Yb[sub 0.19]Co[sub 4]Sb[sub 12]. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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