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To achieve a better material for thermoelectric power generation device, filled skutterudite Yb0.3Co4Sb12 samples were fabricated by melting-quenching-annealing-spark plasma sintering (SPS) method. Two sets of samples, before and after SPS, were investigated. In both the two sets of samples, the average grain size of the samples increases monotonously with the increase of annealing time, while Yb filling fraction firstly increases and then decreases. Yb not filling into the skutterudite remains at the grain boundaries in the form of Yb2O3 after SPS, which could be quantified by the spatially difference method of energy dispersive spectra. Step distribution of Yb filling fraction was observed in the samples annealed for 1 h, which was caused by the microstructural evolution from the peritectic phases to the skutterudite phase. The sample annealed for 3 days and SPS sintered possesses the maximum value of Yb filling fraction 0.249 and the maximum ZT value of 1.24 at 850 K. These results are helpful to better understand the microstructural evolution and Yb filling behavior in skutterudite materials.


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Step distribution of Yb filling fraction during microstructural evolution in skutterudites

Show Author's information Jing MEIaZheng YAObShuya ZHUaDongli HUaYing JIANGaJuanjuan XINGa( )Hui GUaLidong CHENb
School of Materials Science and Engineering and Materials Genome Institute, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China

Abstract

To achieve a better material for thermoelectric power generation device, filled skutterudite Yb0.3Co4Sb12 samples were fabricated by melting-quenching-annealing-spark plasma sintering (SPS) method. Two sets of samples, before and after SPS, were investigated. In both the two sets of samples, the average grain size of the samples increases monotonously with the increase of annealing time, while Yb filling fraction firstly increases and then decreases. Yb not filling into the skutterudite remains at the grain boundaries in the form of Yb2O3 after SPS, which could be quantified by the spatially difference method of energy dispersive spectra. Step distribution of Yb filling fraction was observed in the samples annealed for 1 h, which was caused by the microstructural evolution from the peritectic phases to the skutterudite phase. The sample annealed for 3 days and SPS sintered possesses the maximum value of Yb filling fraction 0.249 and the maximum ZT value of 1.24 at 850 K. These results are helpful to better understand the microstructural evolution and Yb filling behavior in skutterudite materials.

Keywords:

skutterudite, ytterbium filling fraction, microstructure, step distribution
Received: 05 March 2018 Revised: 21 June 2018 Accepted: 23 July 2018 Published: 13 March 2019 Issue date: March 2019
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Publication history
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Publication history

Received: 05 March 2018
Revised: 21 June 2018
Accepted: 23 July 2018
Published: 13 March 2019
Issue date: March 2019

Copyright

© The author(s) 2019

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 51532006 and 11704238, Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality under Grant No. 16DZ2260601, and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China 111 Project under Grant No. D16002.

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