We report a study of the temperature-dependent electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity, specific heat, and Al27 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in Heusler-type Ru2TaAl, to shed light on its semimetallic behavior. While the temperature dependence of the electrical resistivity exhibits semiconductorlike behavior, the analysis of low-temperature specific heat reveals a residual Fermi-level density of states (DOS). Both observations can be realized by means of a semimetallic scenario with the Fermi energy located in the pseudogap of the electronic DOS. The NMR Knight shift and spin-lattice relaxation rate show activated behavior at higher temperatures, attributing to the thermally excited carriers across a pseudogap in Ru2TaAl. From the first-principles band structure calculations, we further provide a clear picture that an indirect overlap between electron and hole pockets is responsible for the formation of a pseudogap in the vicinity of the Fermi level of Ru2TaAl. In addition, an effort for improving the thermoelectric performance of Ru2TaAl has been made by investigating the thermoelectric properties of Ru1.95Ta1.05Al. We found significant enhancements in the electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient and marked reduction in the thermal conductivity via the off-stoichiometric approach. This leads to an increase in the figure-of-merit ZT value from 6.1×10-4 in Ru2TaAl to 3.4×10-3 in Ru1.95Ta1.05Al at room temperature. In this respect, a further improvement of thermoelectric performance based on Ru2TaAl through other off-stoichiometric attempts is highly probable.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics