Probing the Effect of MWCNT Nanoinclusions on the Thermoelectric Performance of Cu3SbS4 Composites

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48484–48492
Journal / PublicationACS Omega
Issue number51
Online published15 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2022



Recently, copper-based chalcogenides, especially sulfides, have attracted considerable attention due to their inexpensive, earth-abundance, nontoxicity, and good thermoelectric performance. Cu3SbS4 is one such kind with p-type conductivity and high phase stability for potential medium-temperature applications. In this article, the effect of a multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) on the thermoelectric parameters of Cu3SbS4 is studied. A facile synthesis route of mechanical alloying (MA), followed by hot pressing (HP) was utilized to achieve dense and fine-grain samples. Adding the optimal amount of MWCNT nanoinclusions in Cu3SbS4 enhanced the Seebeck coefficient by carrier energy filtering and reduced the thermal conductivity by strong phonon scattering mechanisms. This synergistic optimization helped achieve the maximum figure of merit (ZT) of 0.43 in the 3 mol % MWCNT nanoinclusion composite sample, which is 70% higher than the pristine Cu3SbS4 at 623 K. In addition, enhancement in mechanical stability is observed with the increasing nanoinclusion concentration. Dispersion strengthening and grain boundary hardening mechanisms help improve mechanical stability in the nanocomposite samples. Apart from the enhanced mechanical stability, our study highlights that the incorporation of multiwalled CNT nanoinclusions boosted the thermoelectric performance of Cu3SbS4, and the same strategy can be extended to other next-generation and conventional thermoelectric materials.

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