Half-Heusler alloys, which possess the advantages of high thermal stability, a large power factor, and good mechanical property, have been attracting increasing interest in mid-temperature thermoelectric applications. In this work, extra Zr-doped TiZrxNiSn samples were successfully prepared by a modified solid-state reaction followed by spark plasma sintering. It demonstrates that extra Zr doping could not only improve the power factor on account of an increase in the Seebeck coefficient but also suppress the lattice thermal conductivity originated from the strengthened phonon scattering by the superlattice nanodomains and the secondary nanoparticles. As a consequence, an increased power factor of 3.29 mW m-1 K-2 and a decreased lattice thermal conductivity of 1.74 W m-1 K-1 are achieved in TiZr0.015NiSn, leading to a peak ZT as high as 0.88 at 773 K and an average ZT value up to 0.62 in the temperature range of 373-773 K. This work gives guidance for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of TiNiSn-based alloys by modulating the microstructures on the secondary nanophases and superlattice nanodomains.
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