The impact of Sn on Si1-xGex through its thermal conductivity and phonon properties was investigated to develop an attractive material for thermoelectric devices. The Si-rich polycrystalline Si1-x-yGexSny alloy was synthesized by ball-milling technique. The as-synthesized alloy had substitutional Sn content of 1.60%, which it maintained as high as 0.54% after sintering at 1000 °C. The thermal conductivity was found to be reduced by the introduction of this tiny amount of Sn. Inelastic X-ray scattering measurements were carried out and we observed the longitudinal acoustic phonon mode superimposed along all crystallographic directions. In addition, the signal that originated from a local vibration at the Ge-related local structure was also successfully detected. It was found that the introduction of Sn affects the local vibration mode in the alloy. It is proposed that the incorporation of Sn atom into the local structure to make Ge-Sn pairs be considered to reduce the material's thermal conductivity in addition to the mass difference effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)