Local modes caused by defects play a significant role in the thermal transport properties of thermoelectrics. Of particular interest are charge-neutral defects that suppress thermal conductivity, without significantly reducing electrical transport. Here, we report a temperature dependent Raman study that identifies such a mode in a standard thermoelectric material, Bi2Te2Se. One of the modes observed, whose origin has been debated for decades, was shown most likely to be an antisite defect induced local mode. The anomalous temperature independent broadening of the local mode is ascribed to the random arrangement of Se atoms. The temperature renormalization of all modes is well explained by an anharmonic model–Klemens’s model.
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