For high temperature thermoelectric applications, Yb14MnSb 11 has a maximum thermoelectric figure of merit (zT) of ∼1,0 at 1273 K. Such a high zT is found despite a carrier concentration that is higher than typical thermoelectric materials. Here, we reduce the carrier concentration with the discovery of a continuous transition between metallic Yb 14MnSb11 and semiconducting Yb14AlSb 11. Yb14Mn1-xAlxSb11 forms a solid solution where the free carrier concentration gradually changes as expected from the Zintl valence formalism. Throughout this transition the electronic properties are found to obey a rigid band model with a band gap of 0.5 eV and an effective mass of 3 me. As the carrier concentration decreases, an increase in the Seebeck coefficient is observed at the expense of an increased electrical resistivity. At the optimum carrier concentration, a maximum zT of 1.3 at 1223 K is obtained, which is more than twice that of the state-of-the-art Si0.8Ge0.2 flown by NASA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials