Vanadium-free colusites Cu26A2Sn6S32 (A = Nb, Ta) for environmentally friendly thermoelectrics

Yuta Kikuchi, Yohan Bouyrie, Michihiro Ohta, Koichiro Suekuni, Makoto Aihara, Toshiro Takabatake

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The thermoelectric properties of colusites Cu26A2Sn6S32 with A = V, Nb, and Ta have been investigated on high-density sintered compacts over the temperature range of 300-670 K. The ingots melted in evacuated and sealed quartz tubes were found to be composed of two colusite phases with slightly different lattice parameters. The successive hot-pressing converted the two-phase samples to single-phase ones of high density. Scanning electron microscopic analysis revealed the presence of CuS- and Cu2S-based secondary phases in only the sintered compact with A = Ta. For A = V, Nb, and Ta samples, the heavy hole effective mass of 3m0-4m0 (m0: free electron mass) caused a high Seebeck coefficient, leading to a high thermoelectric power factor of 0.6-0.7 mW K-2 m-1 at 660 K. The electrical resistivity and lattice thermal conductivity for the A = Ta sample are lower than those for A = V and A = Nb samples, because the secondary phases in the A = Ta sample provide charge carriers and scatter effectively the phonons. As a result, a ZT of 0.8 at 670 K is achieved for the A = Ta system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15207-15214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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