Enhanced thermoelectric properties of p-type polycrystalline SnSe by regulating the anisotropic crystal growth and Sn vacancy

Chengyan Liu, Lei Miao, Xiaoyang Wang, Shaohai Wu, Yanyan Zheng, Ziyang Deng, Yulian Chen, Guiwen Wang, Xiaoyuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Thermoelectric selenides have attracted more and more attentions recently. Herein, p-type SnSe polycrystalline bulk materials with good thermoelectric properties are presented. By using the SnSe2 nanostructures synthesized via a wetchemistry route as the precursor, polycrystalline SnSe bulk materials were successfully obtained by a combined heattreating process under reducing atmosphere and following spark plasma sintering procedure. As a reference, the SnSe nanostructures synthesized via a wet-chemistry route were also fabricated into polycrystalline bulk materials through the same process. The thermoelectric properties of the SnSe polycrystalline transformed from SnSe2 nanostructures indicate that the increasing of heattreating temperature could effectively decrease the electrical resistivity, whereas the decrease in Seebeck coefficient is nearly invisible. As a result, the maximum power factor is enhanced from 5.06×10-4 W/ṁK2 to 8.08×10-4 W/ṁK2 at 612 °C. On the other hand, the reference sample, which was obtained by using SnSe nanostructures as the precursor, displays very poor power factor of only 1.30×10-4 W/ṁK2 at 537 °C. The x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), x-ray fluorescence (XRF), and Hall effect characterizations suggest that the anisotropic crystal growth and existing Sn vacancy might be responsible for the enhanced electrical transport in the polycrystalline SnSe prepared by using SnSe2 precursor. On the other hand, the impact of heat-treating temperature on thermal conductivity is not obvious. Owing to the boosting of power factor, a high zT value of 1.07 at 612 °C is achieved. This study provides a new method to synthesize polycrystalline SnSe and pave a way to improve the thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline bulk materials with similar layered structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number047211
JournalChinese Physics B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • SnSe nanostructures
  • anisotropic crystal growth
  • polycrystalline SnSe
  • thermoelectric properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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