Electronic structure and thermoelectric properties of half-Heusler compounds with eight electron valence count-KScX (X = C and Ge)

ÇİFTCİ Y., Mahanti S. D.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, vol.119, no.14, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 119 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4945435
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Electronic band structure and structural properties of two representative half-Heusler (HH) compounds with 8 electron valence count (VC), KScC and KScGe, have been studied using first principles methods within density functional theory and generalized gradient approximation. These systems differ from the well studied class of HH compounds like ZrNiSn and ZrCoSb which have VC = 18 because of the absence of d electrons of the transition metal atoms Ni and Co. Electronic transport properties such as Seebeck coefficient (S), electrical conductivity (sigma), electronic thermal conductivity (kappa(e)) (the latter two scaled by electronic relaxation time), and the power factor (S-2 sigma) have been calculated using semi-classical Boltzmann transport theory within constant relaxation time approximation. Both the compounds are direct band gap semiconductors with band extrema at the X point. Their electronic structures show a mixture of heavy and light bands near the valance band maximum and highly anisotropic conduction and valence bands near the band extrema, desirable features of good thermoelectric. Optimal p- or n-type doping concentrations have been estimated based on thermopower and maximum power factors. The optimum room temperature values of S are similar to 1.5 times larger than that of the best room temperature thermoelectric Bi2Te3. We also discuss the impact of the band structure on deviations from Weidemann-Franz law as one tunes the chemical potential across the band gap. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.