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Chin. Phys. B, 2011, Vol. 20(8): 087201    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/20/8/087201

Phase transition and high temperature thermoelectric properties of copper selenide Cu2-xSe (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.25)

Xiao Xing-Xing, Xie Wen-Jie, Tang Xin-Feng, Zhang Qing-Jie
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Abstract  With good electrical properties and an inherently complex crystal structure, Cu2-xSe is a potential “phonon glass electron crystal” thermoelectric material that has previously not attracted much interest. In this study, Cu2-xSe (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.25) compounds were synthesized by a melting-quenching method, and then sintered by spark plasma sintering to obtain bulk material. The effect of Cu content on the phase transition and thermoelectric properties of Cu2-xSe were investigated in the temperature range of 300 K—750 K. The results of X-ray diffraction at room temperature show that Cu2-xSe compounds possess a cubic structure with a space group of Fm3m (#225) when 0.15 < x le 0.25, whereas they adopt a composite of monoclinic and cubic phases when 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.15. The thermoelectric property measurements show that with increasing Cu content, the electrical conductivity decreases, the Seebeck coefficient increases and the thermal conductivity decreases. Due to the relatively good power factor and low thermal conductivity, the nearly stoichiometric Cu2Se compound achieves the highest ZT of 0.38 at 750 K. It is expected that the thermoelectric performance can be further optimized by doping appropriate elements and/or via a nanostructuring approach.
Keywords:  thermoelectric properties      copper selenide      phase transition  
Received:  17 February 2011      Revised:  21 March 2011      Published:  15 August 2011
PACS:  72.15.Jf (Thermoelectric and thermomagnetic effects)  
  74.25.fc (Electric and thermal conductivity)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2007CB607501) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 50731006 and 50672118) along with 111 Project (Grant No. B07040).

Cite this article: 

Xiao Xing-Xing, Xie Wen-Jie, Tang Xin-Feng, Zhang Qing-Jie Phase transition and high temperature thermoelectric properties of copper selenide Cu2-xSe (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.25) 2011 Chin. Phys. B 20 087201

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