Chemical trends in high thermoelectric performance proved in pyrite-type dichalcogenides

Chemical trends in high thermoelectric performance proved in pyrite-type dichalcogenides
Figure 1. a. Crystal structures and bonds between atoms in the pyrite-type IIB-VIA2 dichalcogenides; b. The corresponding first Brillouin zone and its high-symmetry points. Credit: Jia Tiantian

Prof. Zhang Yongsheng's research group at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has systematically investigated the thermoelectric (TE) properties of three pyrite-type IIB-VIA2 dichalcogenides (ZnS2, CdS2 and CdSe2), and explored their physical mechanisms and several chemical trends.

Their findings were published in Physics Review B.

Through high-throughput computations, the three pyrite-type IIB-VIA2 dichalcogenides (ZnS2, CdS2, and CdSe2) with simple cubic structure and cheap elements had been predicted to possess promising TE properties by the team. However, the detailed TE behaviors and the fundamental underlying physical mechanisms behind them still remain ambiguous.

For this study, the researchers investigated the thermal and electrical transport properties of the three pyrite-type IIB-VIA2 dichalcogenides, and evaluated their thermoelectric performances taking advantage of more accurate methods.

After calculating and analyzing the phonon properties, they concluded that all three pyrite-type dichalcogenides had localized high-frequency optical phonons contributed by their strongly covalently bound nonmetallic dimers and soft phonon modes contributed by their rattling like , which resulted in their strong anharmonicities and low thermal conductivities.

There are also chemical trends where heavier atomic masses, larger atomic displacement parameters and longer bond lengths between metallic and nonmetallic atoms may lead to softer frequencies.

  • Chemical trends in high thermoelectric performance proved in pyrite-type dichalcogenides
    Figure 2. Calculated partial phonon densities of states. Credit: Jia Tiantian
  • Chemical trends in high thermoelectric performance proved in pyrite-type dichalcogenides
    Figure 3. Calculated power factors (a) and figures of merit (b) as functions of the carrier concentration for p-type and n-type doping at 300 K in ZnS2, CdS2 and CdSe2 (from left to right), respectively. Credit: Jia Tiantian

Furthermore, all the three showed promising electrical transport properties for both and doping due to their large density-of-states effective masses and small conductivity effective masses, which could be explained by the complex non-spherical iso energy Fermi surfaces in the valence and conduction bands.

Beyond that, they found the low lattice and promising electrical transport properties contributed to their excellent thermoelectric performances.

"This study illustrates the effects of the localized nonmetallic dimers and the rattling-like metal atoms on the thermal transport properties, and the importance of different carrier effective masses to electrical transport properties in these pyrite-type dichalcogenides, which could be used to predict and optimize the TE properties of other TE compounds in the future," said Jia Tiantian, first author of the study.

More information: Tiantian Jia et al, Chemical trends in the high thermoelectric performance of the pyrite-type dichalcogenides ZnS2, CdS2 , and CdSe2, Physical Review B (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.105.245203

Journal information: Physical Review B

Citation: Chemical trends in high thermoelectric performance proved in pyrite-type dichalcogenides (2022, August 29) retrieved 17 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-chemical-trends-high-thermoelectric-pyrite-type.html
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