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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,†
and
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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Abstract

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 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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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