SnSe has drawn considerable attention on a global scale due to its intrinsic low thermal conductivity and large figure of merit along the b axis. In Na-doped SnSe, further enhancement of the thermoelectric performance has been reported. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and inelastic neutron scattering, we have studied how electronic structures and lattice dynamics evolve with temperature in Na-doped SnSe. Our data show that the effective mass of the Se pz orbital along the Γ-Z direction has a very weak temperature dependence, while the chemical potential shifts significantly along with the increase in the gap size evidenced by infrared absorption measurements. Inelastic neutron scattering reveals one acoustic TA and two low-lying optical (TO1 and TO2) phonon modes. Their temperature-dependent behaviors indicate that the TO1 and TA modes contribute more to the reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity with temperature increases. The estimated value of the lattice thermal conductivity based on the lattice dynamics is significantly larger than that determined by transport measurements, suggesting that extrinsic factors, such as the imperfection of the lattice, could drastically suppress the lattice thermal conductivity. Our data suggest that temperature-dependent properties of both electronic structures and phonon dynamics need to be taken into account for the investigation of the underlying physics of hole-doped SnSe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics