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New Monoclinic Phase at the Composition Cu2SnSe3 and Its Thermoelectric Properties

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posted on 07.10.2013, 00:00 by Jing Fan, Wilder Carrillo-Cabrera, Lev Akselrud, Iryna Antonyshyn, Lidong Chen, Yuri Grin
A new monoclinic phase (m2) of ternary diamond-like compound Cu2SnSe3 was synthesized by reaction of the elements at 850 K. The crystal structure of m2-Cu2SnSe3 was determined through electron diffraction tomography and refined by full-profile techniques using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data (space group Cc, a = 6.9714(2) Å, b = 12.0787(5) Å, c = 13.3935(5) Å, β = 99.865(5)°, Z = 8). Thermal analysis and annealing experiments suggest that m2-Cu2SnSe3 is a low-temperature phase, while the high-temperature phase has a cubic crystal structure. According to quantum chemical calculations, m2-Cu2SnSe3 is a narrow-gap semiconductor. A study of the chemical bonding, applying the electron localizability approach, reveals covalent polar Cu–Se and Sn–Se interactions in the crystal structure. Thermoelectric properties were measured on a specimen consolidated using spark plasma sintering (SPS), confirming the semiconducting character. The thermoelectric figure of merit ZT reaches a maximum value of 0.33 at 650 K.

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