News articles

Novel skutterudite entirely formed by Germanium framework

Binary skutterudite CoAs3, mined near the farm Skutterud in Norway, was originally used to blue-color china, substituting pigments made from lapis lazuli. It is also the base compound for a wealth of materials (filled skutterudites) with exceptional thermoelectric performance.

Ernst Bauer

Ernst Bauer

Ernst Bauer

Cage-forming compounds such as skutterudites have proven to be not only of scientific but also of significant technological interest. The ability of these materials to accomodate guest filler species provides a wide range of varying physical and chemical properties. The simple structure, however, acts as a prototype for a large class of compounds including binary as well as ternary and higher order representatives.

Cage forming elements of skutterudites are essentially based on volatile and/or toxic pnictogens (P, As, Sb). Here scientists at Vienna University of Technology (TU), Institute of Solid State Physics, report the formation of novel BaPt4Ge12, which is the first memeber of an entirely new class of skutterudites based on a framework solely constituted by Ge-atoms. By ab initio modelling, Ernst Bauer and his team provide evidence that the Ba filler atoms stabilize the Pt4Ge12 skutterudite structure; most remarkably, the density of states at the Fermi energy is dominated by Ge 4p states.


Enquiries to:
Prof. Ernst Bauer      
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Solid State Physics  
8/138 Wiedner Hauptstraße, 1040 Vienna, Austria
T +43/1/58801 – 13160, -13144
F +43/1/58801 – 13199

Sent by:
Mag. Daniela Hallegger
Vienna University of Technology - PR and Communication
13/E011 Karlsplatz, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
T +43-1-58801-41027
F +43-1-58801-41093