Lead-free thermoelectric material, copper chalcogenides, have been attracting much interest from many research and industrial applications owing to their high capability of harvesting energy from heat. The state-of-the-art copper chalcogenides are commonly fabricated by the spark plasma sintering (SPS) and hot pressing (HP) techniques. Those methods are still costly and complicated particularly when compared to the conventional solid-state sintering method. Here, we report an easy-to-fabricate lead-free copper(I)-selenium (Cu2
Se) that was fabricated using the conventional sintering method. The fabrication conditions, including sintering temperature and dwelling time, have been systematically studied to optimize the thermoelectric performance of Cu2
Se. The optimized zT
value for the pure Cu2
Se was found to be 1.2 for the sample sintered at 1173 K for 2 h. The study shows that Cu2
Se developed using the simple and low-cost techniques could exhibit comparable thermoelectric performance when compared with those fabricated by the SPS method, which provides an alternative potential technique to synthesize high-performance thermoelectric materials in a cost-effective way for industrialization.
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