One-step low temperature reactive consolidation of high purity nanocrystalline Mg2Si

Shaoping Chen, Xia Zhang, Wenhao Fan, Tanghong Yi, Dat V. Quach, Sabah Bux, Qingsen Meng, Susan M. Kauzlarich, Zuhair A. Munir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Bulk nanocrystalline Mg2Si thermoelectric materials were synthesized and consolidated in a one-step process through a solid-state reaction between magnesium hydride and silicon, using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) method. The hydrogen produced in the process alleviates the problem of the oxidation of Mg. The samples were reactively sintered at temperatures in the range 723-823 K and under a uniaxial pressure in the range of 71-164 MPa in 5 min. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed the products to be pure Mg2Si. The grain size of the consolidated samples was less than 500 nm, as determined by transmission electron spectroscopy (TEM). Residual nano-pores were observed by scanning electron microscopy at grain boundaries; their presence is believed to be the consequence of hydrogen evolution during the reactive sintering. The effect of synthesis temperature and pressure on crystallite size, density, and transport properties was determined. The results showed that use of MgH2 instead of Mg in the one-step method prevents the formation of MgO. The addition of 1 at.% Bi as a dopant improved the power factor significantly. Samples with 1 at.% Bi had a ZT of 0.6 at 775 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015


  • MgSi
  • MgH
  • Nanocrystalline
  • Reactive sintering
  • SPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Metals and Alloys


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