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Origin of Ultralow Thermal Conductivity in n-Type Cubic Bulk AgBiS2: Soft Ag Vibrations and Local Structural Distortion Induced by the Bi 6s(2) Lone Pair

Rathore, Ekashmi and Juneja, Rinkle and Culver, Sean P and Minafra, Nicolo and Singh, Abhishek K and Zeier, Wolfgang G and Biswas, Kanishka (2019) Origin of Ultralow Thermal Conductivity in n-Type Cubic Bulk AgBiS2: Soft Ag Vibrations and Local Structural Distortion Induced by the Bi 6s(2) Lone Pair. In: CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 31 (6). pp. 2106-2113.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b00001

Abstract

Crystalline materials with ultralow thermal conductivity are essential for thermal barrier coating and thermoelectric energy conversion. Nontoxic n-type bulk cubic AgBiS2 exhibits exceptionally low lattice thermal conductivity (kappa(lat)) of 0.68-0.48 W/m K in the temperature range of 298-820 K, which is near the theoretical minimum (kappa(min)). The low kappa(lat) is attributed to soft vibrations of predominantly Ag atoms and significant lattice anharmonicity because of local structural distortions along the 011] direction, arising because of the stereochemical activity of the 6s(2) lone pair of Bi, as suggested by pair distribution function analysis of the synchrotron X-ray scattering data. The low-temperature heat capacity of AgBiS2 shows a broad hump because of the Ag-induced low-energy Einstein modes as also suggested from phonon dispersion calculated by first-principle density functional theory. Low-energy optical phonons contributed by Ag and Bi strongly scatter heat-carrying acoustic phonons, thereby decreasing the kappa(lat) to a low value. A maximum thermoelectric figure of merit of similar to 0.7 is attained at 820 K for bulk spark plasma-sintered n-type AgBiS2.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to AMER CHEMICAL SOC
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:59
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 09:59
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/62340

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