We devised a single-step mechanochemical synthesis/densification procedure for Cu 2 X (X = S, Se) thermoelectric materials via applying a pressure of 3 GPa to a stoichiometric admixture of elemental Cu and X for 3 min at room temperature. The obtained bulk materials were single-phase, nearly stoichiometric structures with a relative packing density of 97% or higher. The structures contained high concentration of atomic scale defects and pores of 20-200 nm diameter. The above attributes gave rise to a high thermoelectric performance: at 873 K, the ZT value of Cu 2 S reached 1.07, about 2.1 times the value typical of samples grown from the melt. The ZT value of Cu 2 Se samples reached in excess of 1.2, close to the state-of-the-art value.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics