Thermoelectric performance of tetrahedrite (Cu12Sb4S13) thin films: the influence of the substrate and interlayer

Yu Liu, Andrey Kretinin, Xiaodong Liu, Weichen Xiao, David Lewis, Robert Freer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present work, tetrahedrite Cu12Sb4S13 thin films were deposited on various substrates via aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD) using diethyldithiocarbamate complexes as precursors. A buffer layer of Sb2O3 with small lattice mismatch to Cu12Sb4S13 was applied to the glass substrates to improve the quality of deposited thin film. The buffer layer increases the coverage of the Cu12Sb4S13 thin films, resulting in improved electrical transport properties. The growth of Cu12Sb4S13 thin films on other substrates including ITO-coated glass, SiO2-coated Si wafer and mica, was investigated. Compared to films grown on other substrates, the Cu12Sb4S13 thin films deposited on SiO2-coated Si wafers show dense and compact microstructure and larger grain size, which is beneficial to carrier transport, yielding a champion power factor (PF) of ~362 μW cm-1 K-2 at 625 K. The substrates strongly influence the composition, microstructure and electrical transport properties of Cu12Sb4S13 thin films. At 460 K, the highest zT for the thin films was approximately 0.18. This is comparable to values reported for Cu-Sb-S bulk materials at the same temperature. The Cu12Sb4S13 thin films deposited using AACVD are promising for thermoelectric applications. To the best of our knowledge, full thermoelectric characterization of Cu12Sb4S13 thin films is performed for the first time in this work.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Electronic Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Sept 2023


  • thermoelectric
  • thin film
  • tetrahedrite Cu12Sb4S13
  • Sb2O3
  • buffer layer
  • Substrate


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermoelectric performance of tetrahedrite (Cu12Sb4S13) thin films: the influence of the substrate and interlayer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this