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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Dec 13;128(49):15657-65.

Crystal structures of thermoelectric n- and p-type Ba8Ga16Ge30 studied by single crystal, multitemperature, neutron diffraction, conventional X-ray diffraction and resonant synchrotron X-ray diffraction.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Comprehensive single-crystal structural investigations of n- and p-type Ba8Ga16Ge30 have been carried out using multitemperature neutron and conventional X-ray diffraction as well as resonant synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The data show that the guest atom positions and dynamics are very similar in the two structures, although the barium atoms are slightly more displaced from the cage centers in the p-type structure than in the n-type structure (Deltad = 0.025 A). For both structures Fourier difference maps calculated from very high-resolution neutron diffraction data (sin theta/lambda > 2 A-1) show that the Ba nuclear density at lowest temperatures (15 K) is distributed in a torus around the crystallographic 6d site with maxima in the 24j positions. At room temperature the maxima have shifted to the 24k position. Analysis of atomic displacement parameters give Einstein temperatures of approximately 60(1) K for both structures. Thus, the fundamental difference in the low temperature thermal conductivity observed for p- and n-type Ba8Ga16Ge30 appear not to be directly related to the guest atom behavior as is commonly assumed in thermoelectric research. The neutron data and the resonant synchrotron X-ray data facilitate refinement of Ga/Ge framework occupancies. The Ga atoms have a clear preference for the 6c site with the preference being somewhat stronger for the n-type structure.

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