Comparative study of the thermoelectric properties of amorphous Zn 41Sb 59 and crystalline Zn 4Sb 3

Yang Wu, Johanna Nylén, Craig Naseyowma, Nathan Newman, J. Garcia Garcia Francisco, Ulrich Häussermann

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41 Scopus citations


The alloy Zn 41Sb 59 was synthesized by high-pressure techniques and its bulk amorphous nature at ambient conditions confirmed by X-ray powder diffraction and electron microscopy studies. Electrical resistivity, thermopower, and thermal conductivity of Zn 41Sb 59 were measured in a temperature range from 6 to 350 K. Zn 41Sb 59 is a semiconductor and resistivity data suggest an activation energy of about 0.25 eV above 250 K. The thermopower is positive and increases with increasing temperature. Room-temperature values for the resistivity and thermopower are 8 Ω cm and 300 μV/K, respectively. The temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity is characteristic for amorphous solids and continuously increasing from 0.08 W/(m K) at 6 K to 0.19 W/(m K) at room temperature. Comparison of the thermal conductivity of Zn 41Sb 59 with the thermal lattice conductivity of the crystalline thermoelectric material β-Zn 4Sb 3 reveals a remarkable resemblance, justifying the classification of the latter as a phonon-glass material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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