Thermoelectric materials are capable of converting waste heat into usable electric energy. The conversion efficiency depends critically on the electronic band structure. Theoretical calculations predict the semiconducting ZnSb to have a promising efficiency if it is n-doped. The details of the lowest conduction band have therefore been investigated. Electrons placed in the lowest conduction band are predicted to increase the bonding between second nearest neighbour atoms. This causes a lowering of the energy at special points in the first Brillouin zone. Thereby, the dispersion of the lowest conduction band contains multiple minima. Such a dispersion is highly favourable, since it leads to an increased thermoelectric efficiency.
Thermoelectric and thermomagnetic effects (metals/alloys)
Main Research Area:
41st Danish Crystallographers Meeting & 4th DanScatt Meeting, 2011