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Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 168-176; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020168

Qualifying the Role of Indium in the Multiple-Filled Ce0.1InxYb0.2Co4Sb12 Skutterudite

1,* , 2,†
1 Kinard Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA 2 Kinard Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage and Conversion)
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Literature confirms an improvement in the overall TE properties due to the in situ InSb nano-dispersed phases located along the grain boundaries in several double-filled InxYzCo4Sb12 skutterudites. However, the single-filled InxCo4Sb12 reports contribute enhancement in TE properties solely on the nature of In as a void filler. To qualify the effect of In on the TE properties on multiple-filled skutterudites several multiple-filled Ce0.1InxYb0.2Co4Sb12 skutterudite samples, with nominal composition Ce0.1InyYb0.2Co4Sb12 (0 ≤ y ≤ 0.2), were synthesized. A double-filled base-line sample Ce0.1Yb0.2Co4Sb12 was also synthesized and characterized to create a much fuller depiction of the nature of In and its impact on the TE properties of the filled Co4Sb12-based skutterudite materials. Our results confirm that small amounts of In can be effective at increasing electrical conductivity in the multiple-filled Ce0.1InyYb0.2Co4Sb12 skutterudite. An increased mobility and thus electrical conductivity result in a 15% increase in the dimensionless Figure of Merit, ZT, in the nominal sample composition, Ce0.1In0.05Yb0.2Co4Sb12, which exhibits a state of the art ZT > 1.4 at T = 820 K.
Keywords: thermoelectric; thermopower; electrical conductivity; multiple-filled skutterudites thermoelectric; thermopower; electrical conductivity; multiple-filled skutterudites
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Graff, J.; He, J.; Tritt, T.M. Qualifying the Role of Indium in the Multiple-Filled Ce0.1InxYb0.2Co4Sb12 Skutterudite. Inorganics 2014, 2, 168-176.

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