SnS and SnSe are isoelectronic materials with a common phase diagram. Recently, SnSe was found to be the most efficient intrinsic thermoelectric material in its high-temperature C m c m phase above 800 K. Making use of first-principles calculations, here we show that the electronic and vibrational properties of both materials are very similar in this phase and, consequently, SnS is also expected to have a high thermoelectric figure of merit at high temperature in its C m c m phase. In fact, the electronic power factor and lattice thermal conductivity are comparable for both materials, which ensures a similar figure of merit. As in the case of SnSe, the vibrational properties of SnS in the C m c m phase are far from trivial and are dominated by huge anharmonic effects. Its phonon spectra are strongly renormalized by anharmonicity and the spectral functions of some particular in-plane modes depict anomalous non-lorentzian profiles. Finally, we show that non-perturbative anharmonic effects in the third-order force-constants are crucial in the calculation of the lattice thermal conductivity. Our results motivate new experiments in the high temperature regime to measure the figure of merit of SnS.
Strong anharmonicity and high thermoelectric efficiency in high-temperature SnS from first principles / Aseginolaza, Unai; Bianco, Raffaello; Monacelli, Lorenzo; Paulatto, Lorenzo; Calandra, Matteo; Mauri, Francesco; Bergara, Aitor; Ion Errea, And. - In: PHYSICAL REVIEW. B. - ISSN 2469-9969. - (2019).