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Localised Ag + vibrations at the origin of ultralow thermal conductivity in layered thermoelectric AgCrSe 2

Abstract : In materials science, the substructure approach consists in imagining complex materials in which a particular property is associated with a distinct structural feature, so as to combine different chosen physical characteristics, which otherwise have little chance to coexist. Applied to thermoelectric materials, it has been used to achieve simultaneously phonon-glass and electron-crystal properties. Mostly studied for its superionic conductivity, AgCrSe 2 is a naturally layered compound, which achieves very low thermal conductivity, ∼0.4 W.K -1.m -1 at RT (room temperature), and is considered a promising thermoelectric. The Cr atoms of the [CrSe 2 ] ∞ layer bear a spin S = 3/2, which orders below T N = 55 K. Here we report low temperature inelastic neutron scattering experiments on AgCrSe 2, alongside the magnetic field evolution of its thermal and electrical transport. We observe a very low frequency mode at 3 meV, ascribed to large anharmonic displacements of the Ag + ions in the [Ag] ∞ layer, and 2D magnetic fluctuations up to 3 T N in the chromium layer. The low thermal conductivity of AgCrSe 2 is attributed to acoustic phonon scattering by a regular lattice of Ag + oscillating in quasi-2D potential wells. These findings highlight a new way to achieve localised phonon modes in a perfectly crystalline solid.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02184747
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 11:31:57 AM
Last modification on : Monday, February 10, 2020 - 6:14:04 PM

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F. Damay, S. Petit, S. Rols, M. Braendlein, R. Daou, et al.. Localised Ag + vibrations at the origin of ultralow thermal conductivity in layered thermoelectric AgCrSe 2. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6, pp.23415. ⟨10.1038/srep23415⟩. ⟨hal-02184747⟩

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