Dense n-type Bi2Te3/Cu composites were prepared using Cu-based acetate decomposition and spark plasma sintering at 673 K and 50 MPa. The effects of Cu addition into ball-milled Bi2Te3 on the thermoelectric properties of composites were investigated. The scanning electron microscopy results reveal that Cu nanoparticles with a size of 50–100 nm were dispersed in the Bi2Te3 matrix and also pinned at Bi2Te3 grain boundaries. The thermoelectric performance of all specimens was measured in the temperature range of 300–500 K. The electrical conduction transformed from metallic to semiconducting with an increase in Cu content due to a decrease in carrier concentration. Hence, the variation in the carrier concentration is determined by the role of Cu dopant in Bi2Te3. Furthermore, the thermal conductivity decreased due to lower electronic thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. In comparison with Bi2Te3, the room-temperature ZT value for the Bi2Te3/Cu (1.0 wt.%) sample increased from 0.31 to 0.60 due primarily to the significant increase in the power factor and reduction in thermal conductivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry