Based on the development of high-performance necessity and urgency of the thermoelectric conversion material, copper sulfide has been regarded as a promising thermoelectric material with relatively high thermoelectric performance and abundant resources. The low intrinsic thermal conductivity and high electrical transport of these materials are born out of the “phonon-liquid electron-crystal” structure between the copper and chalcogens. However, three thermoelectric parameters, Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, are interrelated with each other. To further improve the thermoelectric properties of copper sulfides must be decoupled these parameters.
We discuss the strategies for designed nanostructures to improve the thermoelectric performance of copper sulfides based on reducing lattice thermal conductivity of single-component material and tuning compositions for optimizing thermoelectric properties. Copper sulfide composite nanostructures synthesized by room-temperature wet chemical method, including the composite structure of micro/nano copper sulfides multiscale architecture at different mass ratios, and carbon encapsulated copper sulfide particles composite structure. Analysis of the thermoelectric properties of two kinds of composite structure, and the relationship between the structure and performance of the composite structure. The results confirmed that these two strategies are effective for the enhancement of thermoelectric performance.