Lone Pair Rotation and Bond Heterogeneity Leading to Ultralow Thermal Conductivity in Aikinite

Following our recent study on the aikinite/gladite system published in J. Amer. Chem. Soc., we report here the discovery of a new mechanism in aikinite CuPbBiS3, involving a cooperative interaction between the rotating Pb3+ lone pair and the Cu+ cations, which results in a substantially reduced thermal conductivity. We have demonstrated, for the first time, that the coupling of rotating lone pairs and vibrational motion is an effective mechanism to achieve ultralow thermal conductivity in crystalline materials. This work has been performed in collaboration with scientists from Reading University (UK), Central Michigan University (USA) and ISIS (UK).

– Virginia Carnevali,
– Shriparna Mukherjee,
– David J. Voneshen,
– Krishnendu Maji,
– Emmanuel Guilmeau,
– Anthony V. Powell,
– Paz Vaqueiro,
– Marco Fornari

J. Amer. Chem. Soc. (2023), published online.

Contact : Emmanuel Guilmeau