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Zn13Sb10:  A Structural and Landau Theoretical Analysis of Its Phase Transitions
Chemistry of Materials
  • Yurij Mozharivskyj, McMaster University
  • Yuri Janssen, Iowa State University
  • Joel L. Harringa, Iowa State University
  • Alfred Kracher, Iowa State University
  • Alexandra O. Tsokol, Iowa State University
  • Gordon J. Miller, Iowa State University
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Composition, crystal structures, polymorphic transformations, and stability of the thermoelectric material known in the literature as “Zn4Sb3” have been studied on a polycrystalline sample and Bi-flux-grown single crystals using X-ray diffraction techniques, resistance, and Seebeck coefficient measurements at various temperatures ranging from 4 to 773 K. Microprobe analysis yields the composition of the flux-grown crystals to be close to Zn13Sb10, with minor Bi doping. High-temperature X-ray and Seebeck coefficient studies show that the phase is unstable at high temperatures in a vacuum because of Zn losses. Both X-ray diffraction and resistivity measurements indicate the presence of two consecutive symmetry-breaking transitions below room temperature, in agreement with our previous results on polycrystalline samples. Application of Landau theory suggests that the first R3̄c → C2/c symmetry breaking may be second-order in nature. The second, low-temperature symmetry breaking may proceed along two routes. One of these pathways, a first-order C2/c → C1 symmetry reduction, may lead to an incommensurate structure and is consistent with our experimental observations.

Reprinted (adapted) with permission from Chem. Mater., 2006, 18 (3), pp 822–831. Copyright 2006 American Chemical Society.

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American Chemical Society
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Yurij Mozharivskyj, Yuri Janssen, Joel L. Harringa, Alfred Kracher, et al.. "Zn13Sb10:  A Structural and Landau Theoretical Analysis of Its Phase Transitions" Chemistry of Materials Vol. 18 Iss. 3 (2006) p. 822 - 831
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