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Possibility of interstitial Na as electron donor in Yb14MgSb11

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Here, we investigate Na-doping Yb14MgSb11 as a potential route to increase carrier concentration based on an improved multiband model. Experimental transport data were collected on Yb14-xNaxMgSb11 samples prepared by ball milling and hot pressing. We show that Na increases the Seebeck coefficient and resistivity, suggesting that it behaves not as a substituent but as an interstitial electron donor under this synthesis and processing conditions, decreasing hole carrier concentration. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations of equilibrium phases, defect formation enthalpies, and band diagrams shed light on the defect-modified carrier concentrations. Depending on the equilibrium phase, Na can behave as a substitutional or interstitial defect.

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We thank NSF DMREF award# 1729487 for support of this project. NAP was supported by a grant from the Undergraduate Research Grant Program which is administered by Northwestern University's Office of Undergraduate Research. MYT acknowledges support from the United States Department of Energy through the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) under Grant Number DE-SC0020347. This research was supported in part through the computational resources and staff contributions provided for the Quest high-performance computing facility at Northwestern University which is jointly supported by the Office of the Provost, the Office for Research, and Northwestern University Information Technology.


The study resulting in this publication was supported by a grant from the Undergraduate Research Grant Program which is administered by Northwestern University's Office of Undergraduate Research. M.W.'s research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program, administered by the Universities Space Research Association under contract with the NASA. NSF DMREF award #1729487.

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Correspondence to G. Jeffrey Snyder.

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Pieczulewski, N.A., Wood, M., Toriyama, M.Y. et al. Possibility of interstitial Na as electron donor in Yb14MgSb11. MRS Communications 11, 226–232 (2021).

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