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  Dopant-segregation to grain boundaries controls electrical conductivity of n-type NbCo(Pt)Sn half-Heusler alloy mediating thermoelectric performance

Luo, T., Serrano-Sánchez, F., Bishara, H., Zhang, S., Villoro, R. B., Kuo, J. J., et al. (2021). Dopant-segregation to grain boundaries controls electrical conductivity of n-type NbCo(Pt)Sn half-Heusler alloy mediating thermoelectric performance. Acta Materialia, 217: 117147, pp. 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2021.117147.

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Luo, Ting1, Author
Serrano-Sánchez, Federico2, Author           
Bishara, Hanna1, Author
Zhang, Siyuan1, Author
Villoro, Ruben Bueno1, Author
Kuo, Jimmy Jiahong1, Author
Felser, Claudia3, Author           
Scheu, Christina1, Author
Snyder, G. Jeffrey1, Author
Best, James P.1, Author
Dehm, Gerhard1, Author
Yu, Yuan Yu1, Author
Raabe, Dierk1, Author
Fu, Chenguang2, Author           
Gault, Baptiste1, Author
Affiliations:
1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              
2Inorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863425              
3Claudia Felser, Inorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Max Planck Society, ou_1863429              

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Free keywords: Grain boundary resistivity, Grain boundary segregation, Half-Heusler, NbCoSn, Thermoelectric, Ball milling, Cobalt alloys, Cobalt metallography, Electric conductivity, Grain boundaries, Microstructure, Niobium alloys, Niobium metallography, Platinum alloys, Polycrystalline materials, Probes, Spark plasma sintering, Temperature, Thermoelectricity, Tin metallography, Atom probe tomography, Chemical compositions, Electrical conductivity, Electrical conductivity measurements, Microstructural optimization, Space charge effects, Thermo-Electric materials, Thermoelectric performance, Tin alloys
 Abstract: Science-driven design of future thermoelectric materials requires a deep understanding of the fundamental relationships between microstructure and transport properties. Grain boundaries in polycrystalline materials influence the thermoelectric performance through the scattering of phonons or the trapping of electrons due to space-charge effects. Yet, the current lack of careful investigations on grain boundary-associated features hinders further optimization of properties. Here, we study n-type NbCo1-xPtxSn half-Heusler alloys, which were synthesized by ball milling and spark plasma sintering (SPS). Post-SPS annealing was performed on one sample, leading to improved low-temperature electrical conductivity. The microstructure of both samples was examined by electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. The grain size increases from ~230 nm to ~2.38 μm upon annealing. Pt is found within grains and at grain boundaries, where it locally reduces the resistivity, as assessed by in situ four-point-probe electrical conductivity measurement. Our work showcases the correlation between microstructure and electrical conductivity, providing opportunities for future microstructural optimization by tuning the chemical composition at grain boundaries. © 2021 The Authors

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-07-042021-07-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2021.117147
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Title: Acta Materialia
  Abbreviation : Acta Mater.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Kidlington : Elsevier Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 217 Sequence Number: 117147 Start / End Page: 1 - 8 Identifier: ISSN: 1359-6454
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954928603100