Spark plasma sintering technique: an alternative method to enhance ZT values of Sb doped Cu2SnSe3
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Sb doped Cu2Sn1−xSbxSe3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.04) compounds have been fabricated by spark plasma sintering technique for the investigation of their thermoelelctric properties in the temperature range 10–400 K. The conduction mechanism of electrical resistivity reveals that small polaron hopping model is valid in the high-temperature regime and variable range hopping model in low-temperature regime. The positive values of Seebeck coefficient (S) for Cu2Sn1−xSbxSe3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.04) samples in the entire temperature range indicates that the majority charge carriers are holes. The electronic thermal conductivity (κe) was estimated by Wiedmann-Franz law and found that the contribution of κe to the total κ is < 1%, suggesting that the heat conduction for presently studied Cu2Sn1−xSbxSe3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.04) samples is mainly associated to the lattice phonons. The highest ZT value for the Cu2Sn0.96Sb0.04Se3 sample was 0.044 at 400 K, which is approximately four times that of the Cu2SnSe3 sample and an order of magnitude larger than the samples prepared by the conventional solid-state method. Also, the thermoelectric compatibility factor of Cu2Sn0.96Sb0.04Se3 was found to be about 1 per V.
The present work funded by Manipal University (Grant No. MU/HR/E-Chair/2016) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (Grant No. 03(1409)/17/EMR-II). The thermal measurements are supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan under Grant No. MOST 106-2112-M-259-002-MY3 (YKK).