The electron mobility is one of the key parameters that characterize the charge-carrier transport properties of materials, as exemplified by the quantum Hall effect1 as well as high-efficiency thermoelectric and solar energy conversions2,3. For thermoelectric applications, introduction of chemical disorder is an important strategy for reducing the phonon-mediated thermal conduction, but is usually accompanied by mobility degradation. Here, we show a multilayered semimetal β-CuAgSe overcoming such a trade-off between disorder and mobility. The polycrystalline ingot shows a giant positive magnetoresistance and Shubnikov de Haas oscillations, indicative of a high-mobility small electron pocket derived from the Ag s-electron band. Ni doping, which introduces chemical and lattice disorder, further enhances the electron mobility up to 90,000 cm2 V−1 s−1 at 10 K, leading not only to a larger magnetoresistance but also a better thermoelectric figure of merit. This Ag-based layered semimetal with a glassy lattice is a new type of promising thermoelectric material suitable for chemical engineering.
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The authors thank D. Okuyama and T. Arima for experimental support and thank J. G. Checkelsky, A. Tsukazaki, F. Kagawa and N. Kanazawa for useful comments. This study was in part supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grant No. 23685014) from the MEXT, and by the Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program), Japan.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Ishiwata, S., Shiomi, Y., Lee, J. et al. Extremely high electron mobility in a phonon-glass semimetal. Nature Mater 12, 512–517 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3621
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