A new quaternary layered carbide, Zr2[Al3.56Si0.44]C5, has been synthesized and characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and thermopower and electrical conductivity measurements. The crystal structure was successfully determined using direct methods, and further refined by the Rietveld method. The crystal is trigonal (space group R3m, Z=3) with lattice dimensions of a=0.331059(5), c=4.09450(5) nm and V=0.38864(1) nm3. The final reliability indices calculated from the Rietveld refinement were Rwp=6.24%, Rp=4.21% and RB=0.82%. The crystal structure is composed of electroconductive NaCl-type ZrC slabs separated by Al4C3-type [Al3.56Si0.44]C3layers. This material had thermoelectric properties superior to those of the ternary layered carbides Zr2Al3C4and Zr3Al3C5, with the power factor reaching 7.6×10-5W m-1K-2. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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