Metal Distributions, Efficient n-Type Doping, and Evidence for in-Gap States in TiNiMySn (M = Co, Ni, Cu) half-Heusler Nanocomposites

Ruth A. Downie, Ronald I. Smith, Donald A. Maclaren, Jan-willem G. Bos

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Abstract

XNi1+ySn nanocomposites consisting of a XNiSn half-Heusler (HH) matrix with segregated XNi2Sn Full Heusler (FH) inclusions promise improvements in thermoelectric efficiencies. We extend recent research by reporting on TiNiMySn (0 ≤ y ≤ 1) nanocomposites with M = Co (3d9), Ni (3d10) and Cu (3d104s1). Neutron powder diffraction reveals that the Ni and Cu series produce a matrix of TiNiSn with nanosegregated TiNi2Sn and TiNi1+dCu1–dSn, respectively. For the Co series, the Co inserts into both phases to obtain a TiNi1–yCoySn matrix with nanosegregated TiNi2–yCoySn. Systematic changes in Seebeck coefficient (S) and electrical resistivity (ρ) are observed in all three series. For M = Ni, changes in S and ρ are attributed to in-gap states arising from the nanosegregation. The M = Co composites show a complex interplay between the hole doped TiNi1–yCoySn matrix and similar in-gap states, where the p- to n-type transition temperature increases but the maximum S remains unchanged at +30 μV K–1. The 4s1 electron for M = Cu is delocalized in the HH matrix, leading to metal-like ρ(T) and up to 100% improved thermoelectric power factors compared to TiNiSn (S2/ρ = 2 mW m–1 K–2 at 600–700 K for y = 0.025). These results broaden the range of segregated FH phases that could be used to enhance HH thermoelectric performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2449-2459
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume27
Issue number7
Early online date11 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2015

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