Thermoelectric properties of multi-walled carbon nanotube-embedded Cu2S thermoelectric materials
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Cuprous sulfide (Cu2S)/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites were successfully fabricated using a simple one-step ultrasonic reaction method in this study. Morphological observation confirmed that the CNTs were homogeneously embedded into Cu2S matrix, therefore the thermoelectric performance of Cu2S was enhanced significantly. Experimental results demonstrated strong phonon scattering caused by newly formed interfaces and boundaries between the Cu2S host material and CNT dispersoids, resulting in reduced thermal conductivity lower than 0.4 W/m/K at 448–798 K. In addition, owing to energy barrier filtering, the Seebeck coefficient increased to 388 µV/K at 800 K, which was 171% higher than that of pure Cu2S. With a CNT molar ratio of 10%, the highest ZT value of the composites reached 0.74 at 750 K, which was 1.3-fold higher than that of pure Cu2S because of the decreased thermal conductivity and enhanced Seebeck coefficient. The present study can be extended to improve the thermoelectric performance of Cu2−xS-based materials.
The work is partly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51672037, 61727818 and 61604031), the subproject of the National Key and Development Program of China (2017YFC0602102), the Department of Science and Technology of Sichuan Province (No. 2016JQ0022).
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