Submitted by Susan Kauzlarich / University of California, Davis on Mon, 03/14/2022 - 20:57
My Notes

This article provides an introduction to thermoelectric materials and applications for space, highlighting a complex Zintl phase, Yb14-xCexMnySb11. Yb14MnSb11 is a semiconductor that can be substituted with Ce to change the number of carriers in the material and thereby enhance the transport properties.

This literature discussion is based on work from the paper Devlin, K. P.; Grebenkemper, J. H.; Lee, K.; Cerretti, G.; Bux, S. K.; Kauzlarich, S. M. Enhancement of the Thermal Stability and Thermoelectric Properties of Yb14MnSb11 by Ce Substitution. Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 9268−9276.

This LO is part of a special VIPEr collection honoring the 2022 ACS National Award recipients in the field of inorganic chemistry. Susan Kauzlarich was the recipient of the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry for the development of a new class of inorganic compounds, transition-metal Zintl phases, and demonstrating their application in energy conversion devices and as nanoparticle synthons.

Learning Goals

Through this activity, students will be able to:

  1. discuss basic solid-state chemistry concepts including synthesis, characterization techniques, and chemical bonding;
  2. cross-reference educational sites like NASA and others on the internet to better understand applications of materials described in literature;
  3. apply prior knowledge to interpret information derived from figures and descriptions of structure;
  4. interpret structure components in terms of electron counting and how that impacts electrical resistivity;
  5. inspect the tabulated X-ray crystallographic data and calculate the empirical formula from the unit cell contents; and
  6. and evaluate the role of the Ce3+ cation substitution in the electronic structure.
Implementation Notes

This LO was developed as part of the 2022 ACS Inorganic Chemistry Awards Collection and will be updated when implemented.

Evaluation Methods

You could have students prepare written responses to questions prior to discussing the paper during class.

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