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A Strategy for Low Thermal Conductivity and Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in SnSe: Porous SnSe1–xSx Nanosheets

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2017, 00:00 by Hyun Ju, Myeongjin Kim, Dabin Park, Jooheon Kim
A higher figure of merit (ZT) can be achieved for tin selenide (SnSe)-based thermoelectric materials by significantly reducing the thermal conductivity (κ) via three promising strategies: substitution with isoelectric atoms, exfoliation of nanosheets (NSs) from a bulk ingot, and chemical transformation of the material into a porous structure. Specifically, SnSe1–xSx NSs are prepared from bulk ingots by hydrothermal Li intercalation and subsequent exfoliation. The substitution of S atoms into SnSe and the fabrication of SnSe1–xSx NSs contribute to the scattering of phonons at a number of atomic disorders and nanosized boundaries, leading to effective reduction of the κ value and an improved ZT. The introduction of porosity into the material through the chemical transformation process results in further reduction of κ, which leads to a higher ZT. The fabricated porous SnSe0.8S0.2 NS has a maximal ZT value of 0.12 at 310 K, which is significantly higher than that of pristine SnSe.