Zintl-phase Eu 2 ZnSb 2: A promising thermoelectric material with ultralow thermal conductivity

Chen Chen, Wenhua Xue, Shan Li, Zongwei Zhang, Xiaofang Li, Xinyu Wang, Yijie Liu, Jiehe Sui, Xingjun Liu, Feng Cao, Zhifeng Ren, Ching Wu Chu, Yumei Wang, Qian Zhang

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Zintl compounds are considered to be potential thermoelectric materials due to their “phonon glass electron crystal” (PGEC) structure. A promising Zintl-phase thermoelectric material, 2-1-2–type Eu 2 ZnSb 2 (P6 3 /mmc), was prepared and investigated. The extremely low lattice thermal conductivity is attributed to the external Eu atomic layers inserted in the [Zn 2 Sb 2 ] 2- network in the structure of 1-2-2–type EuZn 2 Sb 2 (P3m1), as well as the abundant inversion domain boundary. By regulating the Zn deficiency, the electrical properties are significantly enhanced, and the maximum ZT value reaches ∼1.0 at 823 K for Eu 2 Zn 0.98 Sb 2 . Our discovery provides a class of Zintl thermoelectric materials applicable in the medium-temperature range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2836
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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