Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 577-582.DOI: 10.15541/jim20220318

• RESEARCH LETTER • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Heavy-Fermion YbAl3 Materials: One-step Synthesis and Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance

HE Danqi1(), WEI Mingxu2, LIU Ruizhi2, TANG Zhixin2, ZHAI Pengcheng1, ZHAO Wenyu3()   

  1. 1. Hubei Key Laboratory of Theory and Application of Advanced Materials Mechanics, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
    2. International School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
  • Received:2022-06-05 Revised:2022-06-27 Published:2022-07-08 Online:2022-07-08
  • Contact: ZHAO Wenyu, professor. E-mail:
  • About author:HE Danqi (1990-), lecturer. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China(2018YFB0703603);National Key Research and Development Program of China(2019YFA0704903);National Natural Science Foundation of China(11834012);National Natural Science Foundation of China(52130203);National Natural Science Foundation of China(52102298);Foshan Xianhu Laboratory of the Advanced Energy Scienc eand Technology Guangdong Laboratory(XHT2020-004);National Innovation And Entrepreneurship Training Program for College Students(312040000245)


Microstructure plays a key role in tuning physical properties of materials. Here YbAl3 materials with high figure of merit ZT of 0.35 at 300 K was directly synthesized with Yb and Al pure powders through one-step spark plasma sintering process in 10 min. The excellent thermoelectric performance is attributed to the simultaneous reduction in the lattice thermal conductivity by 47% and electronic thermal conductivity by 27% at 300 K. The remarkable decrease in the electronic thermal conductivity is ascribed to the enhanced scattering of electrons by nanocrystals with 5-20 nm in diameter, strip-like non-crystal with several nanometers in width and various atomic-scale distortions. The substantial decline in the lattice thermal conductivity originates from the enhanced scattering of phonons due to multi-scale microstructures spanning from nanoscale to mesoscale. This work demonstrates that one-step spark plasma sintering process is an efficient strategy to rapidly synthesize YbAl3 materials with multi-scale microstructures and enhanced thermoelectric performance.

Key words: YbAl3 thermoelectric materials, one-step synthesis, microstructure, thermoelectric performance

CLC Number: