Electronic scattering in half-Heusler thermoelectrics from resistivity data

Robert J. Quinn*, Gavin B. G. Stenning, Jan-Willem G. Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


A key part of optimising thermoelectric materials is understanding the electronic scattering mechanism. For half-Heusler (HH) thermoelectrics, the dominant mechanisms are acoustic phonon scattering in pure systems and alloy scattering in highly alloyed systems. In this report, the significance of the residual resistivity ρ 0 is highlighted. Large ρ 0 values can lead to misidentification of the dominant scattering mechanism when only high-temperature ρ(T) data is available. A straightforward approach to analyse ρ(T) is proposed and applied to a range of HH systems. This reveals large levels of structural disorder in XIVNiSn, whilst XVFeSb has the strongest coupling with acoustic phonons. The electronic scattering mechanism depends sensitively on composition, with acoustic (ρ sim T 1.5), metallic (simT 1) and alloy (simT 0.5) scattering observed within the main HH families. With the aid of velocity of sound, band mass and carrier concentration data, the deformation potential can be obtained, enabling quantification of the interaction between phonons and carriers, from fits to resistivity data. This work provides a route for the analysis of experimental ρ(T) data that can be applied to a range of thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024005
JournalJPhys Energy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2022


  • deformation potential
  • electrical resistivity
  • Heusler alloys
  • thermoelectric properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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