Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 38, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Giant enhancement of the figure-of-merit over a broad temperature range in nano-boron incorporated Cu2Se

Author affiliations

Abstract

Superionic conductors in the chalcogenide-based copper selenide family have been considered as a promising class of thermoelectric materials, which offer great prospects for converting ubiquitous waste heat into highly demanded electrical energy. Further improvement of the thermoelectric figure-of-merit, zT, for Cu2Se is very desirable for its practical applications. Since any enhancement in electrical conductivity is often accompanied by a reduction in the Seebeck coefficient or thermal power or vice versa, a significant reduction of thermal conductivity becomes an important strategy for improvement of zT. In this work, we demonstrate that insulating-boron nano-particle inclusion in Cu2Se has little effect on the overall power factor but can significantly reduce the thermal conductivity, resulting in great improvement in zT, by a factor of 1.6–2.6 compared to undoped samples over a wide range of temperatures. Microstructure studies by high resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed that boron nanostructures interspaced between Cu2Se microscale grains are responsible for the great reduction in thermal conductivity and, in turn, the significantly enhanced zT. The enhancement of thermal boundary resistance ascribed to the strong acoustic mismatch between Cu2Se and boron is responsible for the low thermal conductivity of the microstructured composite. Our findings offer an effective approach of using insulating nano-particles to significantly improve the Seebeck coefficient and significantly reduce lattice thermal conductivity for achieving high zT in Cu2Se and many other similar thermoelectric composites.

Graphical abstract: Giant enhancement of the figure-of-merit over a broad temperature range in nano-boron incorporated Cu2Se

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jun 2018, accepted on 20 Aug 2018 and first published on 27 Aug 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05455J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 18409-18416
  •   Request permissions

    Giant enhancement of the figure-of-merit over a broad temperature range in nano-boron incorporated Cu2Se

    S. Md. K. Nazrul Islam, M. Li, U. Aydemir, X. Shi, L. Chen, G. J. Snyder and X. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 18409
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05455J

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements