Enhanced thermoelectric performance of p-type Mg2Sn single crystals via multi-scale defect engineering

Zhicheng Huang, Kei Hayashi, Wataru Saito, Jun Pei, Jing Feng Li, Yuzuru Miyazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mg2Sn is a promising mid-temperature thermoelectric (TE) material consisting of earth-abundant, low-cost, and non-toxic elements. Currently, the TE performance of p-type Mg2Sn is still poor due to a lower power factor (PF) and a higher lattice thermal conductivity (κlat) than those of n-type Mg2Sn. To overcome these disadvantages, we synthesized Li-doped Mg2Sn single crystals (SCs) by the melting method. Li-doping successfully changed the conduction of the Mg2Sn SC from an n-type to a p-type. The Li-doped Mg2Sn SCs contain Mg vacancies, dislocation cores, and Sn-rich precipitates. These multi-scale defects in the Li-doped Mg2Sn SCs did not deteriorate carrier mobility and they effectively scattered phonons with a wide range of frequencies. Since grain boundaries did not exist in the Li-doped Mg2Sn SCs, higher carrier mobility and PF were achieved compared with other p-type Mg2Sn polycrystals (PCs) and SCs. Moreover, the κlat of the Li-doped Mg2Sn SC was lower than that of p-type Mg2Sn PCs and SCs. Owing to the enhanced PF and reduced κlat, a maximum dimensionless figure-of-merit zT of ∼0.38 at 700 K was achieved for the p-type Li-doped Mg2Sn SC with a Li content of 2.5%, the highest value for a p-type Mg2Sn ever reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2652-2660
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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