Impact of Interstitial Ni on the Thermoelectric Properties of the Half-Heusler TiNiSn

Sonia Barczak, Jim Buckman, Ronald Smith, Annabelle Baker, Eric Don, Ian Forbes, Jan-willem Bos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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TiNiSn is an intensively studied half-Heusler alloy that shows great potential for waste heat recovery. Here, we report on the structures and thermoelectric properties of a series of metal-rich TiNi1+ySn compositions prepared via solid-state reactions and hot pressing. A general relation between the amount of interstitial Ni and lattice parameter is determined from neutron powder diffraction. High-resolution synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction reveals the occurrence of strain broadening upon hot pressing, which is attributed to the metastable arrangement of interstitial Ni. Hall measurements confirm that interstitial Ni causes weak n-type doping and a reduction in carrier mobility, which limits the power factor to 2.5–3 mW m−1 K−2 for these samples. The thermal conductivity was modelled within the Callaway approximation and is quantitively linked to the amount of interstitial Ni, resulting in a predicted value of 12.7 W m−1 K−1 at 323 K for stoichiometric TiNiSn. Interstitial Ni leads to a reduction of the thermal band gap and moves the peak ZT = 0.4 to lower temperatures, thus offering the possibility to engineer a broad ZT plateau. This work adds further insight into the impact of small amounts of interstitial Ni on the thermal and electrical transport of TiNiSn.
Original languageEnglish
Article number536
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2018


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