Rapid synthesis of zinc and nickel co-doped tetrahedrite thermoelectrics by reactive spark plasma sintering and mechanical alloying

Daniel P. Weller, Donald T. Morelli

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    Abstract

    Tetrahedrite offers advantages over state-of-the-art thermoelectrics, such as lead telluride, because of its low cost and environmentally friendly composition. However, typical sealed-tube synthesis of tetrahedrite can require multiple days or weeks. In this study, tetrahedrite co-doped with nickel and zinc was synthesized by two different approaches which both require significantly less time than the conventional furnace-ampoule technique. The first technique utilizes a short ball milling step followed by reactive spark plasma sintering to form tetrahedrite, and the entire process requires less than 2 h of total synthesis time. The second method involves mechanical alloying to obtain single-phase tetrahedrite, combined with spark plasma sintering (SPS) for densification. Thermoelectric properties were measured and compared for samples of composition Cu10Ni2-xZnxSb4S13 (x = 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5) made by both techniques. Peak ZT values were obtained for Cu10Ni2Sb4S13 with ZT = 0.66 at 673 K for SPS reacted and mechanically alloyed samples. Transport properties are comparable between the two techniques, and this provides evidence that supports reactive spark plasma sintering as a viable synthetic technique for tetrahedrite thermoelectric materials.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages794-799
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
    Volume710
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 5 2017

    Profile

    Spark plasma sintering
    Mechanical alloying
    Nickel
    Zinc
    Chemical analysis
    Ball milling
    Densification
    Transport properties
    Furnaces
    Costs
    Lead

    Keywords

    • Mechanical alloying
    • Reactive spark plasma sintering
    • Tetrahedrite
    • Thermoelectric materials

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Metals and Alloys
    • Materials Chemistry

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Tetrahedrite offers advantages over state-of-the-art thermoelectrics, such as lead telluride, because of its low cost and environmentally friendly composition. However, typical sealed-tube synthesis of tetrahedrite can require multiple days or weeks. In this study, tetrahedrite co-doped with nickel and zinc was synthesized by two different approaches which both require significantly less time than the conventional furnace-ampoule technique. The first technique utilizes a short ball milling step followed by reactive spark plasma sintering to form tetrahedrite, and the entire process requires less than 2 h of total synthesis time. The second method involves mechanical alloying to obtain single-phase tetrahedrite, combined with spark plasma sintering (SPS) for densification. Thermoelectric properties were measured and compared for samples of composition Cu10Ni2-xZnxSb4S13 (x = 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5) made by both techniques. Peak ZT values were obtained for Cu10Ni2Sb4S13 with ZT = 0.66 at 673 K for SPS reacted and mechanically alloyed samples. Transport properties are comparable between the two techniques, and this provides evidence that supports reactive spark plasma sintering as a viable synthetic technique for tetrahedrite thermoelectric materials.",
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