Interplay between thermoelectric and structural properties of type-I clathrate K8Ga8Sn38 single crystals

T. Tanaka, T. Onimaru, K. Suekuni, S. Mano, H. Fukuoka, S. Yamanaka, T. Takabatake

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30 Citations (Scopus)


We report structural, transport, and thermal properties of type-I clathrate K8Ga8Sn38 single crystals grown by the self-flux method. Single-crystal x-ray diffraction analysis confirmed that the guest K+ ion locates on the center in the tetrakaidecahedron composed of Ga and Sn atoms. The thermopower is largely negative, -200μV/K at room temperature, irrespective of the flux used during growth (Ga or Sn). The thermal conductivity κ (T) exhibits a large peak at 14 K. These observations in K8 Ga8 Sn38 are contrasting with the splitting of the guest site and the glasslike behavior in κ (T) reported for type-I Ba8Ga 16Sn30 although the free space for the guest is almost the same in both compounds. The electrostatic potential for the tetrakaidecahedron was calculated using the occupation probabilities of Ga ions in the three sites on the cage. It is found that the off-centered state is stabilized for the Ba2+ ions in Ba8Ga16Sn30 by the partial occupation of Ga anion in the 16i site while the on-center state for K8Ga8Sn38 is stabilized by the strongly preferred occupation of Ga anions in the 6c site. We conclude that the charge distribution on the cage is crucial for the splitting of the guest site into off-center positions in the tetrakaidecahedron of the type-I clathrate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165110
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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