High-performance thermoelectric mineral Cu12-xNi xSb4S13 tetrahedrite

Koichiro Suekuni, Kojiro Tsuruta, Masaru Kunii, Hirotaka Nishiate, Eiji Nishibori, Sachiko Maki, Michihiro Ohta, Atsushi Yamamoto, Mikio Koyano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

248 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray structural analysis and high-temperature thermoelectric properties measurements are performed on polycrystalline samples of artificial mineral Cu12-xNixSb4S13 tetrahedrite. Analysis of the atomic displacement parameter manifests low-energy vibration of Cu(2) out of CuS3 triangle plane. The vibration results in low lattice thermal conductivity of less than 0.5 W K-1 m -1. By tuning of the Ni composition x and decrease of electronic thermal conductivity, dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit for x = 1.5 achieves 0.7 at 665 K, which is a considerably high value among p-type Pb-free sulfides. Because the tetrahedrite is an environmentally friendly material, it constitutes a good thermoelectric material for use in support of a sustainable society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043712
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 28


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