Concerted Rattling in CsAg5Te3Leading to Ultralow Thermal Conductivity and High Thermoelectric Performance

Hua Lin, Gangjian Tan, Jin Ni Shen, Shiqiang Hao, Li Ming Wu, Nicholas Calta, Christos Malliakas, Si Wang, Ctirad Uher, Christopher Wolverton, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Thermoelectric (TE) materials convert heat energy directly into electricity, and introducing new materials with high conversion efficiency is a great challenge because of the rare combination of interdependent electrical and thermal transport properties required to be present in a single material. The TE efficiency is defined by the figure of merit ZT=(S2σ) T/κ, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, σ is the electrical conductivity, κ is the total thermal conductivity, and T is the absolute temperature. A new p-type thermoelectric material, CsAg5Te3, is presented that exhibits ultralow lattice thermal conductivity (ca. 0.18 Wm−1K−1) and a high figure of merit of about 1.5 at 727 K. The lattice thermal conductivity is the lowest among state-of-the-art thermoelectrics; it is attributed to a previously unrecognized phonon scattering mechanism that involves the concerted rattling of a group of Ag ions that strongly raises the Grüneisen parameters of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11431-11436
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2016


  • CsAgTe
  • concerted rattling
  • thermoelectric materials
  • tunnel structure
  • ultralow thermal conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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