Prediction of a large number of electron pockets near the band edges in type-VIII clathrate Si46 and its physical properties from first principles

Payam Norouzzadeh, Charles W. Myles, Daryoosh Vashaee

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21 Scopus citations


The material design of type-VIII clathrate Si46 is presented based on first principles. The structural, electronic, elastic, vibrational, and thermodynamic properties of this hypothetical material are presented. Our results predict that type-VIII clathrate Si46 is an indirect semiconductor with a bandgap of 1.24 eV. The band structure revealed an interestingly large number of electron pockets near both conduction and valance band edges. Such a large density of states near the band edges, which is higher than that of the best thermoelectric materials discovered so far, can result in a large thermoelectric power factor (>0.004 W m-1 K-2) making it a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications. The elastic properties as well as the vibrational modes and the phonon state densities of this material were also calculated. Our calculations predict that the heat capacity at constant volume (isochoric) of this clathrate increases smoothly with temperature and approaches the Dulong-Petit value near room temperature. The electronic band structure shows a large number of valleys closely packed around the valance band edge, which is rare among the known semiconducting materials. These valleys can contribute to transport at high temperature resulting in a possibly high performance (ZT > 1.5) p-type thermoelectric material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number475502
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 27 2013


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