Polaronic Transport in Ag-based Quaternary Chalcogenides

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Low temperature resistivity measurements on dense polycrystalline quaternary chalcogenides Ag2+xZn1-xSnSe4, with x = 0, 0.1, and 0.3, indicate polaronic type transport which we analyze employing a two-component Holstein model based on itinerant and localized polaron contributions. Electronic structure property calculations via density functional theory simulations on Ag2ZnSnSe4 for both energetically similar kesterite and stannite structure types were also performed in order to compare our results to those of the compositionally similar but well known Cu2ZnSnSe4. This theoretical comparison is crucial in understanding the bonding that results in polaronic type transport for Ag2ZnSnSe4, as well as the structural and electronic properties of both crystal structure types. In addition to possessing this unique electronic transport, the thermal conductivity of Ag2ZnSnSe4 is low and decreases with increasing silver content. This work reveals unique structure-property relationships in materials that continue to be of interest for thermoelectric and photovoltaic applications.

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Journal of Applied Physics, v. 122, issue 10, art. 105109