Effect of the sintering pressure on structure and microstructure of the filled skutterudite Smy(FexNi1-x)4Sb12 (x = 0.50–0.80, y = 0.17–0.55)

Cristina Artini, Alessandro Cingolani, Fabrizio Valenza, Umberto Anselmi-Tamburini, Giovanna Latronico, Paolo Mele

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2 Citations (Scopus)


A structural and microstructural study was performed on several compositions of the Smy(FexNi1-x)4Sb12 system treated at three different pressures during the spark plasma sintering (SPS) process. Aim of the study is to recognize the effect of applied pressure at a fixed temperature on composition, microstrain and domains size, due to the relevance of these parameters in driving the thermoelectric properties of the material. Increasing pressure induces a change in the Sm amount, as well as an increase in microstrain and a decrease in the diffraction domains size. At the same time, enhancing pressure above a certain threshold promotes the formation of the extra phase (Sm,Fe,Ni)Sb2, and hence a large power factor reduction. Relying on data collected in this work, applying a pressure close to 180 MPa during SPS results to be a good compromise between advantages in terms of microstructure and transport properties, and disadvantages in terms of phase purity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111261
JournalMaterials Research Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul


  • A. Intermetallic compounds
  • B. Microstructure
  • C. X-ray diffraction
  • D. Crystal structure
  • D. Thermoelectrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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