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Open AccessCommunication

Effect of the Order-Disorder Transition on the Seebeck Coefficient of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Cu2ZnSnS4

1
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
2
Laboratory of Bio-Inspired and Graphene Nanomechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
3
National Research Council of Italy-Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry and Technologies for Energy (CNR-ICMATE), Lecco Unit, via Previati 1/E, 23900 Lecco, Italy
4
Ket-Lab, Edoardo Amaldi Foundation, Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
5
School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050762
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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Abstract

Bulk samples of kesterite (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS) were produced by cold-pressing and sintering of CZTS powders obtained via reactive ball-milling. An increase in the Seebeck coefficient of more than 100 μV/K, almost doubling the expected value, is noticed around a temperature of 260 °C. As pointed out by thermal analyses, this is due to a second order transition of kesterite from an ordered I-4 to a disordered I-42m crystal structure. Conversely to what happens for solar cell materials, where the transition is considered to be detrimental for the performance, it appears to be beneficial for the thermoelectric Seebeck coefficient, suggesting that higher crystal symmetry and cation-disorder due to the transition lead to thermopower enhancement. View Full-Text
Keywords: order-disorder transition; Seebeck coefficient; kesterite; CZTS; nanostructured materials; thermoelectric materials; crystal structure symmetry order-disorder transition; Seebeck coefficient; kesterite; CZTS; nanostructured materials; thermoelectric materials; crystal structure symmetry
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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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Isotta, E.; Fanciulli, C.; Pugno, N.M.; Scardi, P. Effect of the Order-Disorder Transition on the Seebeck Coefficient of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Cu2ZnSnS4. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 762.

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