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Exceptionally low thermal conductivity realized in the chalcopyrite CuFeS2 via atomic-level lattice engineering

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Title
Exceptionally low thermal conductivity realized in the chalcopyrite CuFeS2 via atomic-level lattice engineering
Author(s)
Ge, Bangzhi; Hyungseok Lee; Zhou, Chongjian; Lu, Weiqun; Hu, Jiabin; Yang, Jian; Cho, Sung-Pyo; Qiao, Guanjun; Shi, Zhongqi; In Chung
Publication Date
2022-04-01
Journal
Nano Energy, v.94
Publisher
Elsevier Ltd
Abstract
© 2022 Elsevier LtdDesigning irregular but desirable atomic arrangements in crystal lattices of solids can greatly change their intrinsic physical properties beyond expectations from common doping and alloying. However, structures of solids are generally determined by thermodynamic preferences during solid-state reactions, strictly restricting delicate atomic-level lattice engineering. Here, we report a new strategy of realizing desirable defect architecture in a highly predictable way to control thermal and charge transport properties of solids. Introducing unusually high concentration indium to the tetragonal chalcopyrite CuFeS2 to form the Cu1−xInxFeS2 (x = 0–0.12) system stabilizes the highly unusual local structure, namely, high-temperature polymorph of cubic zinc blende structure in the surrounding matrix and displaced In+ cation with 5s2 lone pair electrons from the Cu+ sublattice. This substantially suppresses notoriously high lattice thermal conductivity of tetrahedrally networked CuFeS2 to record-low values ~0.79 W m−1 K−1 at 723 K through multiscale scattering and softening mechanisms of heat-carrying phonon, approaching its theoretical lower limit. Consequently, one of the highest thermoelectric figures of merit, ZT, among chalcopyrite sulfides is achieved. Our design principle utilizes standard potentials and ionic radius of constituent elements, thereby readily applicable to designing various classes of solids. Remarkably, we directly imaged the atomic-level structure of positional disorder stabilizing the high-temperature phase and off-centered In+ from the ideal position employing a scanning transmission electron microscope. This observation shows how our material design strategy works, and provides important understanding for how local structures in solids form when either compatible or incompatible atoms are introduced to the crystal lattices.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/11187
DOI
10.1016/j.nanoen.2022.106941
ISSN
2211-2855
Appears in Collections:
Center for Correlated Electron Systems(강상관계 물질 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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