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Intriguing experimental results raised the question about the fundamental mechanisms governing the electron-hole coupling induced bipolar thermal conduction in semiconductors. Our combined theoretical analysis and experimental measurements show that in semiconductors bipolar thermal transport is in general a "conductivity-limiting" phenomenon, and it is(More)
Non-radiative recombination plays an important role in the performance of optoelectronic semiconductor devices such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Most textbook examples assume that the recombination process occurs through a single defect level, where one electron and one hole are captured and recombined. Based on this simple picture,(More)
Searching and designing materials with extremely low lattice thermal conductivity (LTC) has attracted considerable attention in material sciences. Here we systematically demonstrate the diverse lattice dynamics of the ternary Cu-Sb-Se compounds due to the different chemical-bond environments. For Cu3SbSe4 and CuSbSe2, the chemical bond strength is nearly(More)
Simultaneously optimizing electrical and thermal transport properties of bulk thermoelectric materials remains a key challenge due to the conflicting combination of material traits. Here, we have explored the electrical and thermal transport features of In-filled CoSb3 through X-ray absorption fine structure, X-ray photoemission spectra, transport(More)
Current theoretical analyses of defect properties without solving the detailed balance equations often estimate Fermi-level pinning position by omitting free carriers and assume defect concentrations can be always tuned by atomic chemical potentials. This could be misleading in some circumstance. Here we clarify that: (1) Because the Fermi-level pinning is(More)
The low weighted carrier mobility has long been considered to be the key challenge for improvement of thermoelectric (TE) performance in BiTeI. The Rashba-effect-induced two-dimensional density of states in this bulk semiconductor is beneficial for thermopower enhancement, which makes it a prospective compound for TE applications. In this report, we show(More)
Thermoelectric properties of semiconductors are intimately related to their electronic band structure, which can be engineered via chemical doping. Dopant Ga in the cage-structured skutterudite Co4Sb12 substitutes Sb sites while occupying the void sites. Combining quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy and first-principles calculations, we(More)
The quest of novel compounds with special structures and unusual functionalities continues to be a central challenge to modern materials science. Even though their exact structures have puzzled scientists for decades, superhard transition-metal borides (TMBs) have long been believed to exist only in simple crystal structures. Here, we report on a polytypic(More)