Thermoelectric Enhancement in CoSb3 skutterudite compounds with double and triple filling of In, Yb, Ce

Ballikaya S., Uzar N., Yildirim S., SALVADOR J. R. , UHER C.

9th European Conference on Thermoelectrics (ECT), Thessaloniki, Greece, 28 - 30 September 2011, vol.1449, pp.235-238 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 1449
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4731540
  • City: Thessaloniki
  • Country: Greece
  • Page Numbers: pp.235-238
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Yb atom is one of the most effective species to fill the voids in the skutterudite structure in order to reduce the thermal conductivity and thus enhance the thermoelectric performance of skutterudite compounds. In this work, we aim to find the best filling partners for Yb using different combinations of Ce and In as well as to optimize actual filling fraction in order to achieve high values of ZT. All samples were prepared by the traditional method of synthesis relying on melting-annealing and followed by spark plasma sintering. The thermoelectric properties of four samples of Yb0.2In0.2Co4Sb12, Yb0.2Ce0.15Co4Sb12, Yb0.2Ce0.15In0.2Co4Sb12, and Yb0.3Ce0.15In0.2Co4Sb12 (nominal) were examined based on the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Hall coefficient. Hall coefficient and Seebeck coefficient signs indicate that all samples are n-type skutterudite compounds. Carrier density increases with the increasing Yb+Ce content. A high power factor value of 57.7 mu V/K-2-cm for Yb0.2Ce0.15Co4Sb12 and a lower thermal conductivity value of 2.82 W/m-K for Yb0.2Ce0.15In0.2Co4Sb12 indicate that small quantities of Ce with In may be a good partner with Yb to reduce the thermal conductivity and thus enhance the thermoelectric performance of skutterudites. The highest ZT value of 1.43 was achieved for Yb0.2Ce0.15In0.2Co4Sb12 triple-filled skutterudite at 800 K.