Electronic structure and thermoelectric properties of (Mg2X)2 / (Mg2Y)2 (X, Y = Si, Ge, Sn) superlattices from first-principle calculations
Department of Physics, School of Sciences, China
University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou
221116, Jiangsu, P.R.
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 20 February 2016
Published online: 25 May 2016
To identify thermoelectric materials containing abundant, low-cost and non-toxic elements, we have studied the electronic structures and thermoelectric properties of (Mg2X)2/ (Mg2Y)2 (X, Y = Si, Ge, Sn) superlattices with state-of-the-art first-principles calculations using a modified Becke and Johnson (mBJ) exchange potential. Our results show that (Mg2Ge)2/ (Mg2Sn)2 and (Mg2Si)2/ (Mg2Sn)2 are semi-metals using mBJ plus spin-orbit coupling (mBJ + SOC), while (Mg2Si)2/ (Mg2Ge)2 is predicted to be a direct-gap semiconductor with a mBJ gap value of 0.46 eV and mBJ + SOC gap value of 0.44 eV. Thermoelectric properties are predicted by through solving the Boltzmann transport equations within the constant scattering time approximation. It is found that (Mg2Si)2/ (Mg2Ge)2 has a larger Seebeck coefficient and power factor than (Mg2Ge)2/ (Mg2Sn)2 and (Mg2Si)2/ (Mg2Sn)2 for both p-type and n-type doping. The detrimental influence of SOC on the power factor of p-type (Mg2X)2/ (Mg2Y)2 (X, Y = Si, Ge, Sn) is analyzed as a function of the carrier concentration, but there is a negligible SOC effect for n-type. These results can be explained by the influence of SOC on their valence and conduction bands near the Fermi level.
Key words: Solid State and Materials
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2016