High-resolution nanostructural investigation of Zn<inf>4</inf>Sb <inf>3</inf> alloys
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Zinc antimonides exhibit high thermoelectric figures of merit and bear great potential for power generation. To advance the understanding of the structure-property relationship in these alloys, the microstructure of a nanocrystalline Zn4Sb3 alloy, containing 57.29 at.% Zn, was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. Chemical inhomogeneities were observed at grain boundaries. Within the grains the distribution of Zn shows large fluctuations inducing a complex microstructure made of Zn-rich and Sb-rich regions at a nanometer scale. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.