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Issue 44, 2015
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Anisotropic thermoelectric properties of layered compounds in SnX2 (X = S, Se): a promising thermoelectric material

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Abstract

Thermoelectrics interconvert heat to electricity and are of great interest in waste heat recovery, solid-state cooling and so on. Here we assessed the potential of SnS2 and SnSe2 as thermoelectric materials at the temperature gradient from 300 to 800 K. Reflecting the crystal structure, the transport coefficients are highly anisotropic between a and c directions, in particular for the electrical conductivity. The preferred direction for both materials is the a direction in TE application. Most strikingly, when 800 K is reached, SnS2 can show a peak power factor (PF) of 15.50 μW cm−1 K−2 along the a direction, while a relatively low value (11.72 μW cm−1 K−2) is obtained in the same direction of SnSe2. These values are comparable to those observed in thermoelectrics such as SnSe and SnS. At 300 K, the minimum lattice thermal conductivity (κmin) along the a direction is estimated to be about 0.67 and 0.55 W m−1 K−1 for SnS2 and SnSe2, respectively, even lower than the measured lattice thermal conductivity of Bi2Te3 (1.28 W m−1 K−1 at 300 K). The reasonable PF and κmin suggest that both SnS2 and SnSe2 are potential thermoelectric materials. Indeed, the estimated peak ZT can approach 0.88 for SnSe2 and a higher value of 0.96 for SnS2 along the a direction at a carrier concentration of 1.94 × 1019 (SnSe2) vs. 2.87 × 1019 cm−3 (SnS2). The best ZT values in SnX2 (X = S, Se) are comparable to that in Bi2Te3 (0.8), a typical thermoelectric material. We hope that this theoretical investigation will provide useful information for further experimental and theoretical studies on optimizing the thermoelectric properties of SnX2 materials.

Graphical abstract: Anisotropic thermoelectric properties of layered compounds in SnX2 (X = S, Se): a promising thermoelectric material

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jun 2015, accepted on 12 Oct 2015 and first published on 16 Oct 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP03700J
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Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 29844-29853
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    Anisotropic thermoelectric properties of layered compounds in SnX2 (X = S, Se): a promising thermoelectric material

    B. Sun, Z. Ma, C. He and K. Wu, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 29844
    DOI: 10.1039/C5CP03700J

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