Structural and electronic properties of tin clathrate materials

Charles W. Myles, Jianjun Dong, Otto F. Sankey

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53 Scopus citations


Using an ab initio local density approximation (LDA) method, we have studied the structural properties and the electronic band structures of several tin-based clathrate materials. We find that the pure type-I (formula presented) and type-II (formula presented) clathrate frameworks are metastable, expanded-volume phases of Sn and that they are semiconductors. We further find that the Cs encapsulated type-I binary clathrate is metallic if full stoichiometry (formula presented) is assumed. However, our calculations suggest that vacancy formation is energetically favored, and that the stable vacancy compound (formula presented) is a narrow gap semiconductor. We have also studied the ternary clathrate compounds (formula presented) and (formula presented) which have been suggested as potential thermoelectrics, and we find that these are semiconductors. The trends in the structural and electronic properties of these Sn-based clathrates are discussed, and our results are compared with experiment where possible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2001


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