Electronic and local crystal structures of the ZrNiSn Half-Heusler thermoelectric material

Hidetoshi Miyazaki, Teruaki Nakano, Manabu Inukai, Kazuo Soda, Yudai Izumi, Takayuki Muro, Jungeun Kim, Masaki Takata, Masaharu Matsunami, Shin Ichi Kimura, Yoichi Nishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the electronic and local crystal structures of the sintered half-Heusler ZrNiSn alloy by synchrotron radiation photoemission spectroscopy (SR-PES), synchrotron radiation X-ray powder diffraction (SR-XRD) measurements, and electronic band structure calculations to clarify mechanisms leading to improvements in the thermoelectric properties of materials. In contrast to the predicted semiconductor-like electronic structure, the SR-PES results show a pseudo-gap at the Fermi level, and the SR-XRD analysis reveals an interstitial Ni disorder in the half-Heusler structure. An improvement in the thermoelectric properties can be achieved by material design based on the pseudo-gap electronic structure of half-Heusler ZrNiSn-based alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1214
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Electronic band structure calculation
  • Half-Heusler alloy
  • Photoemission spectroscopy
  • Thermoelectric material
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Zirconium nickel tin compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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