Uniform Cu2Sn1-xZnxS3 (x = 0-0.2) nanoparticles (NPs) with a characteristic size of about 40 nm were chemically synthesized. The primary crystal phase of the NPs was wurtzite (WZ) with a mean crystalline size of about 20 nm. The NPs were sintered to form nanostructured pellets with different compositions preserving the composition and grain size of the original NPs by the pulse electric current sintering technique. The pellets had a zinc blende (ZB) structure with a residual WZ phase, and the mean crystalline size was found to remain virtually unchanged for all pellets. Among all samples, the pellets of Cu2Sn0.95Zn0.05S3 and Cu2Sn0.85Zn0.15S3 exhibited the highest ZT value (0.37 at 670 K) which is 10 times higher than that of a non-nanostructured Cu2SnS3 bulk crystal thanks to effective phonon scattering by nanograins, the phase-pure ZB crystal structure, and the increase in hole carrier density by Zn doping.
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