Enhanced stability and thermoelectric figure-of-merit in copper selenide by lithium doping

Stephen Dongmin Kang, Jan Hendrik Pöhls, Umut Aydemir, Pengfei Qiu, Constantinos C. Stoumpos, Riley Hanus, Mary Anne White, Xun Shi, Lidong Chen, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, G. Jeffrey Snyder

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Superionic thermoelectric materials have been shown to have high figure-of-merits, leading to expectations for efficient high-temperature thermoelectric generators. These compounds exhibit extremely high cation diffusivity, comparable to that of a liquid, which is believed to be associated with the low thermal conductivity that makes superionic materials good for thermoelectrics. However, the superionic behavior causes cation migration that leads to device deterioration, being the main obstacle for practical applications. It has been reported that lithium doping in superionic Cu 2−x Se leads to suppression of the Cu ion diffusivity, but whether the material will retain the promising thermoelectric properties had not yet been investigated. Here, we report a maximum zT>1.4 from Li 0.09 Cu 1.9 Se, which is higher than what we find in the undoped samples. The high temperature effective weighted mobility of the doped sample is found higher than Cu 2−x Se, while the lattice thermal conductivity remains similar. We find signatures of suppressed bipolar conduction due to an enlarged band gap. Our findings set forth a possible route for tuning the stability of superionic thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Today Physics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Kang, S. D., Pöhls, J. H., Aydemir, U., Qiu, P., Stoumpos, C. C., Hanus, R., White, M. A., Shi, X., Chen, L., Kanatzidis, M. G., & Snyder, G. J. (2017). Enhanced stability and thermoelectric figure-of-merit in copper selenide by lithium doping. Materials Today Physics, 1, 7-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mtphys.2017.04.002