Mixing and electronic entropy contributions to thermal energy storage in low melting point alloys Academic Article uri icon


  • Melting of crystalline solids is associated with an increase in entropy due to an increase in configurational, rotational, and other degrees of freedom of a system. However, the magnitude of chemical mixing and electronic degrees of freedom, two significant contributions to the entropy of fusion, remain poorly constrained, even in simple 2 and 3 component systems. Here, we present experimentally measured entropies of fusion in the Sn-Pb-Bi and In-Sn-Bi ternary systems, and decouple mixing and electronic contributions. We demonstrate that electronic effects remain the dominant contribution to the entropy of fusion in multi-component post-transition metal and metalloid systems, and that excess entropy of mixing terms can be equal in magnitude to ideal mixing terms, causing regular solution approximations to be inadequate in the general case. Finally, we explore binary eutectic systems using mature thermodynamic databases, identifying eutectics containing at least one semiconducting intermetallic phase as promising candidates to exceed the entropy of fusion of monatomic endmembers, while simultaneously maintaining low melting points. These results have significant implications for engineering high-thermal conductivity metallic phase change materials to store thermal energy.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Shamberger, P. J., Mizuno, Y., & Talapatra, A. A.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Shamberger, Patrick J||Mizuno, Yasushi||Talapatra, Anjana A

publication date

  • July 2017