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Gd12Co5.3Bi and Gd12Co5Bi, Crystalline Doppelgänger with Low Thermal Conductivities

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journal contribution
posted on 14.06.2016, 17:35 by Anton O. Oliynyk, Taylor D. Sparks, Michael W. Gaultois, Leila Ghadbeigi, Arthur Mar
Attempts to prepare Gd12Co5Bi, a member of the rare-earth (RE) intermetallics RE12Co5Bi, which were identified by a machine-learning recommendation engine as potential candidates for thermoelectric materials, led instead to formation of the new compound Gd12Co5.3Bi with a very similar composition. Phase equilibria near the Gd-rich corner of the Gd–Co–Bi phase diagram were elucidated by both lab-based and variable-temperature synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction, suggesting that Gd12Co5.3Bi and Gd12Co5Bi are distinct phases. The higher symmetry structure of Gd12Co5.3Bi (cubic, space group Im3̅, Z = 2, a = 9.713(6) Å), as determined from single-crystal X-ray diffraction, is closely related to that of Gd12Co5Bi (tetragonal, space group Immm). Single Co atoms and Co–Co dumbbells are disordered with occupancies of 0.78(2) and 0.22(2), respectively, in Gd12Co5.3Bi, but they are ordered in Gd12Co5Bi. Consistent with this disorder, the electrical resistivity shows less dependence on temperature for Gd12Co5.3Bi than for Gd12Co5Bi. The thermal conductivity is low and reaches 2.8 W m–1 K–1 at 600 °C for both compounds; however, the temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity differs, decreasing for Gd12Co5.3Bi and increasing for Gd12Co5Bi as the temperature increases. The unusual trends in thermal properties persist in the heat capacity, which decreases below 2R, and in the thermal diffusivity, which increases at higher temperatures.