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Crystals 2017, 7(5), 141;

Synthesis and Thermoelectric Properties of Copper Sulfides via Solution Phase Methods and Spark Plasma Sintering

Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650093, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: George S. Nolas
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 13 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials Processing and Crystal Growth for Thermoelectrics)
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Large-scale Cu2S tetradecahedrons microcrystals and sheet-like Cu2S nanocrystals were synthesized by employing a hydrothermal synthesis (HS) method and wet chemistry method (WCM), respectively. The morphology of α-Cu2S powders prepared by the HS method is a tetradecahedron with the size of 1–7 μm. The morphology of β-Cu2S is a hexagonal sheet-like structure with a thickness of 5–20 nm. The results indicate that the morphologies and phase structures of Cu2S are highly dependent on the reaction temperature and time, even though the precursors are the exact same. The polycrystalline copper sulfides bulk materials were obtained by densifying the as-prepared powders using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. The electrical and thermal transport properties of all bulk samples were measured from 323 K to 773 K. The pure Cu2S bulk samples sintered by using the powders prepared via HS reached the highest thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) value of 0.38 at 573 K. The main phase of the bulk sample sintered by using the powder prepared via WCM changed from β-Cu2S to Cu1.8S after sintering due to the instability of β-Cu2S during the sintering process. The Cu1.8S bulk sample with a Cu1.96S impurity achieved the highest ZT value of 0.62 at 773 K. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cu2S; nanocrystal; synthetic methods; morphological control; thermoelectric properties Cu2S; nanocrystal; synthetic methods; morphological control; thermoelectric properties

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tang, Y.-Q.; Ge, Z.-H.; Feng, J. Synthesis and Thermoelectric Properties of Copper Sulfides via Solution Phase Methods and Spark Plasma Sintering. Crystals 2017, 7, 141.

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