Prospects for Engineering Thermoelectric Properties in La1/3NbO3 Ceramics Revealed via Atomic-Level Characterization and Modeling

Demie Kepaptsoglou, Jakub D. Baran, Feridoon Azough, Dursun Ekren, Deepanshu Srivastava, Marco Molinari, Stephen C. Parker, Quentin M. Ramasse, Robert Freer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A combination of experimental and computational techniques has been employed to explore the crystal structure and thermoelectric properties of A-site-deficient perovskite La1/3NbO3 ceramics. Crystallographic data from X-ray and electron diffraction confirmed that the room temperature structure is orthorhombic with Cmmm as a space group. Atomically resolved imaging and analysis showed that there are two distinct A sites: one is occupied with La and vacancies, and the second site is fully unoccupied. The diffuse superstructure reflections observed through diffraction techniques are shown to originate from La vacancy ordering. La1/3NbO3 ceramics sintered in air showed promising high-temperature thermoelectric properties with a high Seebeck coefficient of S1 = -650 to -700 μV/K and a low and temperature-stable thermal conductivity of k = 2-2.2 W/m·K in the temperature range of 300-1000 K. First-principles electronic structure calculations are used to link the temperature dependence of the Seebeck coefficient measured experimentally to the evolution of the density of states with temperature and indicate possible avenues for further optimization through electron doping and control of the A-site occupancies. Moreover, lattice thermal conductivity calculations give insights into the dependence of the thermal conductivity on specific crystallographic directions of the material, which could be exploited via nanostructuring to create high-efficiency compound thermoelectrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Volume57
Issue number1
Early online date19 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

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